5 Ways to Make Your Bedroom a Stress-Free Oasis

You spend about a third of your life in the bedroom, so why not make it a comfortable, soothing refuge?

You spend about a third of your life in the bedroom, so why not make it a comfortable, soothing refuge? Here are a few tips to help you transform your bedroom’s atmosphere.

1. Clear your room of clutter. Smooth, clean surfaces act as a balm on your brain, so clear away clutter, put away all the clothes strewn on your bedroom chair, and buy a bookshelf for that stack of books collecting dust.

2. Once a week, put fresh flowers in your room. A study found that female office workers felt more relaxed when they were working near a vase of flowers. Just imagine how nice it would feel to sleep near one.

3. Scent your room with essential oils. In aromatherapy, a number of scents are recognized as particularly useful for reducing stress. There are several easy ways to introduce these scents into your bedroom. One is to buy a light bulb ring (a device that you set onto a cold light bulb), add a couple of drops of essential oil, and turn on the lamp to let the oil warm and scent the air. Another is to buy or make potpourri, a collection of dried herbs treated with essential oils. Or mix in a spray bottle 50ml of water, plus a drop or two of your favorite oils, and use the scent as an air freshener. Relaxing scents include bergamot, chamomile, lavender, lemon, marjoram, neroli, orange, sandalwood, valerian and ylang-ylang.

4. When choosing bedroom hues, go for blue. Scientists say that the color blue affects the autonomic nervous system – the part that operates without your conscious control – to lower the heart rate and blood pressure, and slow the breathing. Proponents of colour therapy say that blue has a calming, relaxing effect and helps lull you to sleep. If the room is due for a fresh coat of paint, go for a blue tone. If not, try adding sky-colored blankets, pillows and rugs.

5. Try a few feng shui tips. Feng shui aims to achieve harmony between your spiritual self and your physical environment. According to this ancient discipline, proper positioning of elements of a room creates the desired energy flow and balance of forces. Practitioners recommend that you position your bed on the opposite side of the room from the bedroom door – not directly in front of the door, but diagonally across the room from it; position the bed so that when you lie in it, a window is to your right (to feed you positive energy when you wake up); and keep desks and computers, along with their work-related energy, out of the bedroom.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest