11 Bedroom Updates for a Better Night's Sleep

Improve the quality of your zzz’s with these easy changes.

With a new year upon us, you may have resolved to get more (or better) sleep in 2017. I’m right there with you. It’s hard to ignore the importance of consistently getting good quality shuteye: It can improve mood and memory, help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of serious diseases, among other things. Many factors — from caffeine consumption to exercise — can affect how well you sleep, but you can make a big impact just by creating an environment that’s conducive to slumber. Try some (or all) of these easy updates in your bedroom to kick-start a more restful year.

 Cut Clutter

Blue Contemporary Bedroom With Red Flowers

Blue Contemporary Bedroom With Red Flowers

The color palette of this bedroom: dark blue, beige and white. It's a choice that's both elegant and cozy.

It’s hard to wind down when you’re surrounded by paperwork, exercise equipment, to-be-folded laundry and other items that remind you of your to-do list. Take some time to pare down the bedroom, removing anything that doesn't make you feel relaxed. Find new spots for these items in other rooms, or toss/donate things you no longer need. Replace the clutter with a few simple accessories, like a small stack of favorite books or a vase of fresh flowers.

 Choose Calming Colors

Neutral Traditional Bedroom With Green Bed

Neutral Traditional Bedroom With Green Bed

A green upholstered bed makes a splash of color in the serene sea of neutrals of this traditional bedroom. Simple metal and leather stools at the foot of the bed double as end tables.

Photo by: Emily Minton Redfield

Emily Minton Redfield

Color has a powerful effect on mood and energy, and the right hues can transform your bedroom into a relaxing retreat. Earthy browns, watery blues and soft greens are some of the most comforting shades, but there’s no one-size-fits-all rule here. Whatever makes you feel happy and relaxed will help you unwind at the end of the day. Start with new bedding or a fresh coat of paint on the walls and see what a difference it makes.

The Psychology of Color

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Turquoise: Stability and Peace

Turquoise walls bring a serene feel to this sitting area in a teen's bedroom.

Sunshine Yellow: An Uplifting Hue

Yellow is often associated with happiness and optimism because it can activate memory, stimulate the nervous system and promote creativity. Go all out by implementing a sunshine yellow and toning it down with white accents, like in this dining nook designed by Brian Patrick Flynn.

Muted Yellow: Airy and Relaxing

If a bright yellow isn't your style, try a neutral pale shade. The added bonus: this shade gives the appearance of a larger room. Designer Kathryn Greeley used an earthy yellow in this cottage-style bedroom to create a relaxing look.

Bold Red: Dramatic and Energizing

Red immediately evokes a passionate, romantic feel in any room. It can add drama when used generously or just a simple touch can warm up a space. The many different shades create different moods, from a romantic merlot to a retro cherry shade. This velvet red wall makes the dining space more intimate while bringing some color to the otherwise neutral space. Design by Candice Olson

Red-Orange: A Subtle Approach

The red-orange mirror counterbalances the cool blue patterned wallpaper and instantly warms the space. Use small doses of red if you want to spice things up without completely committing to the bold hue. Design by Erinn Valencich

From: Erinn Valencich

Bold Pink: For Grownups

Pink isn't just for little girls' rooms anymore. This punchy color is much more versatile than you may think. Designer Christopher Grubb chose this vibrant pink-orange color combo to bring a playful touch to this sitting room without making it feel too youthful.

Peony Pink: Energetic and Youthful

If you want to add pink to a girl's room while keeping a sophisticated look, try a saturated peony shade like in the Green Home 2011 home. This hue will add energy while keeping a feminine look.

Deep Orange: A Versatile Shade

Few people choose orange when deciding on an interior color because picking the right shade can be overwhelming. A deep orange, or terra-cotta shade, is a great option for a home office — it's energizing by day and cozy by night. Designed by Sabrina Soto

Apricot Orange: An Appetizing Shade

Go with a lighter shade of orange, such as apricot, if you want a more relaxing look. Designer Chip Wade used apricot to act as an appetite stimulant while balancing the right amount of relaxation and energy.

Lime Green: A Burst of Energy

Green reminds us of life and renewal since it's associated with nature. It's one of the most versatile colors — it can be dramatic, refreshing or inviting depending on how you use it. Designer Tobi Fairley accented a bookshelf wall with a lime-green shade for a burst of energy.

Celery Green: A Lively Neutral

Lighter shades of green, such as sea green and celery green, bring a light and airy look. Designer Shelly Riehl David proves that a light-green shade can add sophistication and crispness in harmony. The green color acts as a neutral yet still brings life to this hallway.

From: Shelly Riehl David

Cool Blue: A Serene Environment

Many homeowners turn to blue when painting a room because they want a comfortable, inviting feel in their home. For a serene environment, mix a glacier blue with chrome accents. Design by Tobi Fairley

From: Tobi Fairley and Tobi Fairley

Sapphire Blue: A Powerful Statement

For a completely different mood, choose a darker shade of blue, such as sapphire. This shade will bring a powerful punch to any room, but it isn't for the faint of heart. For a less dramatic approach, Design Star winner Danielle Colding brought in touches of yellow in this home office.

Vibrant Purple Shades: A Refreshing and Lively Look

You're in the majority if you stray away from purple when decorating. However, this color correlates with royalty and creativity, and it can completely refresh your home's interior. If you have a simple space you want to spruce up, try adding multiple shades of purple. Brian Patrick Flynn painted a chevron pattern in different shades of purple and anchored it with a softer shade of purple on the walls, creating a striking focal point.

A Pop of Purple: For a Fun Vibe

Sometimes all you need are accents of color to change the mood of a room. Brian Patrick Flynn added neon purple pillows to this gray living room for an energetic vibe that enhances the wallpaper pattern.

Gray: A Favorite Neutral

Designers love to use gray as a backdrop or neutral shade because of its ability to allow other colors to shine. Its sophistication comes off as too serious sometimes, so Brian Patrick Flynn added a playful spin with a two-toned patterned wallpaper design that makes the coral vanity stand out.

Silver Gray: A Romantic Feel

A lighter shade of gray brings a romantic touch to a space. This dining room, designed by Rebekah Zaveloff, features silver-gray walls for a sophisticated, inviting look. The dark gray table draws the eye toward the center of the room.

Earthy Brown: Helps You Relax

Brown is one of the most comforting colors, so it's a top choice for living rooms and kitchens. The soft brown wood tones in this kitchen make it feel inviting and pleasant. Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting

Brown Accents: Highlights Bold Colors

Using brown is a great way to highlight bold colors while anchoring the space. Designer Andreas Charalambous brought in touches of brown tones to counterbalance the bold red bedroom wall.

 Banish Electronics

Neutral Modern Bedroom With Brown Rug

Neutral Modern Bedroom With Brown Rug

This sustainable modern home in Los Angeles layers natural materials like wood and cotton in earth tones for a style that feels simple and organic.

Photo by: Prime Five Homes

Prime Five Homes

By now, we’ve all heard that electronics are disruptive to sleep. Watching TV, checking emails or scrolling through social media feeds before bedtime keeps your brain alert, and the blue light emitted by screens inhibits production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycles. Sleep.org (powered by the National Sleep Foundation) recommends keeping all electronics outside of the bedroom, and giving yourself at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before bedtime.

If you must use your computer at night, download f.lux, which helps your screen adapt to the lighting conditions of the room you're in. If you have an iPhone, take advantage of the Night Shift setting, which automatically adjusts your display to warmer colors after dark.

 Keep It Dark

Even the tiniest glow from a nightlight or outside street lamp can negatively affect your slumber. Invest in blackout curtains, a sleep mask or both for your bedroom. I made several unsuccessful sleep mask purchases that ended up being too tight and uncomfortable to wear at night. I turned to Etsy, and found many sellers who will make custom masks to fit any size noggin.

Buy It: Fox Sleep Mask, $18, etsy.com

 Keep It Quiet

Styled Bookcase Provides Bedside Storage

Styled Bookcase Provides Bedside Storage

Instead of traditional nightstands, Sabrina Soto opts to flank the bed with bookcases for extra storage. Lights are installed on the shelves for nighttime reading as seen on HGTV's High/Low Project.

Noise is another sleep disturber, particularly if you live in an area with street traffic or loud neighbors. A white noise machine or a fan can work wonders to drown out unwanted sounds. If you share walls with your neighbors, you can even use furniture placement to minimize noise. For example, a bookshelf against a wall can muffle sounds from an adjacent apartment, while a rug can reduce noise from downstairs.

 Rethink Your Alarm Clock

If you’re like me, being jolted awake in the morning by a standard alarm clock just doesn’t work. I hit the snooze button several times before I even think about getting up, and even then it’s a struggle. Luckily, there are other, less jarring options out there. A wake-up light, for example, gradually gets brighter for about 30 minutes before your alarm time to wake you up naturally. (I recently purchased one of these, and it’s been life changing.) Many wearable fitness trackers can gently wake you with a silent, vibrating alarm.

Buy It: Philips Wake-Up Light, $109, amazon.com

More Ways to Wake Up Easier

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Wake Alarm App

Are you an over sleeper? Wish someone would shake you awake when you need to get up? Your wish granted by your smartphone. This app forces you to interact with your Smartphone in order to shut it off. Now your ears and your mind will sit up straight in bed first thing in the morning.

Moxie Showerhead

I don't know about you, but when I'm in my car or the shower, I'm a Grammy contender. Your car has a sweet sound system, so why not your bathroom, too? This Bluetooth enabled showerhead will let you start your day with a little theme music and a lot of water pressure.

Lark Life Wristband

This brilliant wristband can help you monitor your diet and exercise throughout the day, but in the morning it really struts its stuff. After tracking your sleep, it vibrates to wake you up noiselessly so your partner isn't disturbed (bonus relationship points).

Automated Switch (Belkin WeMo)

How luxurious would it be to turn your coffeemaker on from the comfort of your bed? This app-operated outlet makes anything plugged into it an app-operated device. Simply use the app on your phone to control the switch and don't let your feet hit the ground until you smell your java brewing.

DIY Charging Station

The best way to wrangle your tech is to build it a beautiful place to recharge and hang out. An attractive, DIY charging station will keep all of your gadgets organized and charging in one place. Plus, this means you'll be moving them out of the bedroom (more bonus relationship points).

Overnight Oatmeal

If you're getting up at 6am tomorrow and start making breakfast at 9pm tonight. Check out recipes like this Slow Cooker Irish Oatmeal with Bananas and Berries on Cooking Channel for slow cooker or rice cooker oatmeal. With a wholesome breakfast, you'll be able to avoid the cheap donuts in the break room.

Plan the Next Day

Give yourself a head start on tomorrow and a good night's rest tonight. Free apps like todoist.com can make your lists simpler and more satisfying, but a notepad list on your nightstand is just as satisfying. Whip up a priority list for tomorrow, then sleep soundly, knowing you'll wake up focused and ready to check boxes. Last item on your list: pat yourself on the back.

Avoid Email in the AM

Your stress levels will plummet when you stop looking at emails from your bed first thing in the morning. Give your brain some time to wake up before throwing yourself into reactive mode. You'll be more composed and efficient when you do dig in to that inbox.


Some people open their eyes every morning and begin to stress about one thing: traffic. With the free Waze app, you can see what the current best route will be considering up to the minute traffic conditions. Now you'll know if you've got time to stop for coffee or if you need to skip the blow dryer and go. If time is money, this thing is worth millions.

 Turn Down the Thermostat

How to replace a thermostat.

How to replace a thermostat.

How to replace and install a new smart thermostat in your home.

Photo by: Emily Fazio ©2015

Emily Fazio, 2015

Our core body temperatures actually need to drop in order to initiate sleep, and a cool room can help with this transition. Sleep.org recommends keeping bedroom temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees. If you like your home to be a little toastier during the day, consider investing in a smart thermostat. It'll quickly learn your habits and automatically adjust the temperature when it's time for bed.

Buy It: Nest Learning Thermostat, $249, amazon.com

 Add Soothing Scents

Certain scents, such as lavender, vanilla and chamomile, are said to promote relaxation. Keep an aromatherapy lotion, linen spray or diffuser on your bedside table to help you unwind at night.

Buy It: Aromatherapy Pillow Mist; $12,50, bathandbodyworks.com

 Upgrade Your Pillows

Here’s a trick from Sleep.org to help you determine if your pillows need replacing: If they don’t spring back after you fold them in half, it’s time to let them go. Consider how you sleep when buying new pillows: Back sleepers should choose thin pillows that cradle the neck. Stomach sleepers need the thinnest pillows available, or even no pillows. Side sleepers should opt for firm pillows with gussetting, or extra paneling on the sides.

Buy It: Isotonic Indulgence Side Sleeper Pillow, $39.99-$59.99, bedbathandbeyond.com

 Create a Spot for Fido



Give your four-footed family member a stylish place to sit with a one-of-a-kind shipping pallet pet bed mobilized with casters.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

For some, the sense of security from sharing the bed with a pet can actually promote better sleep, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic. But for others, a pet’s nighttime movements can be disruptive. If you find that your furry friend is waking you up at night, give them their very own comfy spot to sleep off of the bed.

 Clear Your Head

If you frequently find yourself unable to fall asleep because tomorrow’s to-do list is running through your head, it may be beneficial to keep a notebook on your bedside table where you can jot down lingering thoughts. Once they’re in writing, you know you won’t forget them, so your brain can stop fixating on them.

Budget-Friendly Bedroom Ideas

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Try Dark Hues

While light colors are great for making a room feel larger, a darker hue envelops the bedroom, creating the perfect space to relax and slumber. The plush bed linens in this ultra-dark space add a nice contrast and look like the ideal spot to cuddle up in this cozy black bedroom.

Adjust the Lighting

From the fireplace to the plush bedding to the warm area rug, this room exemplifies cozy living. But one aspect that really enhances the space is the soft lighting choices. If overhead lighting is a must, a chandelier with a dimmer is a great way to go.

Layer Rugs

Whether your bedroom is covered in carpet or hardwood, rugs are a great way to add color, texture and of course, warmth underfoot. Try layering rugs in different shapes and patterns for an extra-comfy look.

Bring on the Blankets

When creating a cozy bedroom, you can never have too many throws. With an assortment of textured throws in soft neutrals, breakfast in bed never looked so good.

Photo By: Sarah Christine Wilson

Add a Personal Touch

Simple DIY touches can make any bedroom a cozier place to be. Here, a nightstand made from a vintage suitcase adds personality with a nice lived-in vibe.

Create a Canopy

A no-fail way to add an extra comfort factor to your bed is to drape it in ethereal textiles. Here, a solid white canopy creates a cozy cocoon for lazy Sunday mornings.

©Design by SPI Design

Choose the Right Pieces

Warm wooden accents and a vase filled with fresh blooms come together in this peaceful space to create a nature-lover’s paradise. With a stack of books placed on the nightstand shelf, you may never have to leave this restful oasis.

Make Use of Texture

In this soft, inviting space, a delicate mix of texture subtly adds depth and interest in a neutral space. From the textural wallpaper to the herringbone-patterned floor, this sweet bedroom would be the ideal spot to curl up with a good book.

Blend Old and New

By mixing old and new styles, you can keep your bedroom from looking stale and instead make it look all your own. Here, a unique nightstand with a Singer base makes a statement against a gorgeous herringbone-patterned floor and mint bed.

From: Genevieve Gorder
  1. sewing machine

Photo By: Chris Amaral

Try a Tufted Headboard

Any plush headboard is bound to add a comfy vibe to your resting space, but there is just something about an elegant tufted headboard that really ups the cozy factor. Consider covering your headboard in an opulent fabric, such as velvet, for an extra-luxurious design.

Pile on the Pillows

What’s more cozy than a huge pile of fluffy pillows? Mix and match and never be afraid to add too many. The more the better when it comes to creating a super-comfy look.

From: Deborah Wecselman

Add Ceiling Beams

Adding wooden ceiling beams may be a bigger project than tossing a few throw pillows on the bed, but it is one that will definitely pay off in the cozy department. Wooden accents add warmth to a space, and wooden ceiling beams are a smart architectural way to add the look without taking up space.

Create a Reading Nook

A window seat is a great place to cuddle up and read or just enjoy the view. But sometimes, adding a window seat can be a costly endeavor. Instead, try creating a quiet nook in your bedroom for a similar effect.

Photo By: Gilles Mingasson/Getty Images ©2014, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Put in a Faux Fireplace

A bedroom fireplace adds instant warmth, but when it’s too expensive to add the real thing, a shabby-chic faux fireplace may do the trick. This adorable example from HGTV’s Fixer Upper proves it doesn’t take big bucks to create a cozy space.

From: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images © 2013, HGTV/ Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Mix Patterns

An unexpected mix of patterns can create a homey look in any size bedroom. In this sweet space, a cohesive color palette pulls the patterns together, keeping the look subtle and seamless.

Place Furniture Strategically

Where you place your furniture makes a huge difference. When creating a seating nook, place chairs facing each other. This arrangement brings a conversational and intimate feel to your bedroom even if you're the only one utilizing the space.

Use Soft Neutrals

A neutral color palette adds a calming effect to any style bedroom, and it doesn't have to mean boring. Add texture, metallic accents, patterns and vintage finds to spice things up.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Incorporate Vintage Finds

Nothing will give your bedroom a lived-in look like a favorite piece from an antique shop. This weathered Craftsman-style rocker brings a nostalgic look to the coastal bedroom.

Add Some Privacy

Sure, floor-to-ceiling draperies can be expensive (especially if they aren't DIY), but you'll keep them for years to come. Purchase neutral window treatments, so they match your room's style no matter how many times you change your bedroom's look.

Sprinkle In Floral Accents

Feminine touches bring a soft, cozy feel, so bring in floral elements — big or small — to your bedroom.

Photo By: Sarah Dorio/Flynnside Out Productions ©2016, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Dress Your Bed in Knit Fabric

You can't get any comfier than knit fabric. Use old sweaters to make bed pillows or throws to up your bedroom's cozy factor.

Decorate in All White

Many believe an all-white room is stark and stale, but decorating in this color can make you feel as though you're at the spa. Plus, it's like sleeping on a cloud.

Use the Same Hue in Different Tones

Not sold on the all-white idea? This girl's bedroom is dressed in all blue. The variety of blue tones gives the room a layered look, which presents a cozy effect.

From: Houlihan Lawrence and Luxury Portfolio International®

Photo By: Houlihan Lawrence, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Don't Forget the Foot of the Bed

If you have the space, place some furniture at the food of the bed. Whether you choose one large piece or a couple small pieces, display something that acts as extra storage and is upholstered in a lush fabric.

Skip Overhead Lighting

The right lighting can make all the difference. Place a couple lamps on either side of your bed to provide enough lighting without the harsh glare from an overhead light.

Display Your Books

Bring a cozy library feel to your bedroom by replacing a traditional headboard with a bookshelf. Color coordinate your books for a clean look.

Photo By: Michael J. Lee Photography

Invest in Good Bedding

Aside from window treatments, bedding is the best thing to spend your money on. Choose soft, high-quality fabrics — you won't be sorry.

Hide Electronics

Sometimes binge watching your favorite show is most comfortable from your bed, but visible electronics in the bedroom are the opposite of cozy. Hide them by placing in a thrifted armoire.

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