4 Bedroom Lighting Tricks That Experts Say Will Help You Sleep Better

Gain extra hours of shut-eye by implementing these easy, expert-approved lighting and decor tricks to aid your sleep routine

A bedroom clad in wooden wall panelling
(Image credit: Neue Focus. Developer/Construction: JD Irpino, Louis & Rose. Architecture: OJT)

Let’s face it, everyone wishes to get better sleep. Whether it's a night of tossing and turning that has kept you from reaching those precious Z’s, or the early morning bird songs, there are lots of reasons why people are missing out on achieving quality rest.

Lighting plays a large part in a person’s ability to recharge. Whether it's artificial or natural light, being exposed to too much of either can have a detrimental impact on your body and its ability to enter a state of REM.

We talked to sleep experts about what tricks you can add to your household or sleep routine to lessen the impact of harsh lighting on your sleep. Delving into sources of artificial and natural light, experts told us key points on bedroom lighting that should be implemented.

1. Dim your lighting down in the evening

A table with books and a spherical lamp

(Image credit: IKEA)

The after-work hours are punctuated by the thought of getting some relaxation. Lighting candles, switching off the overhead in favor of atmospheric lamps, or turning on the string lights can help create the desired aesthetic of calm, and help you sleep better.

Carlie Gasia, a Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleepopolis, explains why dimming your lighting during the before-bed hours helps set a person up for a better night’s rest. ‘Dimming lights at night or using warmer lighting is a way to signal relaxation, calm, and winding down to your body,’ says Carlie. ‘This can easily be implemented into someone’s sleep routine, as it’s not a very time-consuming task’.

When it comes to your bedroom lighting, opt for warm color LEDs, as these are the best color lights for sleep.

2. Avoid too much exposure to blue light

a paper lamp on a nightstand

(Image credit: Jenna Peffley. Design: BHDM Design)

Blue light is the enemy hiding in plain sight that deters you from a good night's rest. Radiating from the screen of your electronics, the light hampers your sleep cycle more than you’re aware of.

‘Staying off screens before bed is beneficial because blue light emitted from these devices suppresses melatonin which makes it much more difficult to fall asleep at night,’ says Julia Forbes, a Certified Sleep Science Coach at Sleep Advisor.

Setting a timer for screen time or picking an hour of the day to disconnect are two ways to help cut back before bed. Installing a blue light filter on all of your devices is additionally a great, free way to help protect your eyes from screen damage. These filters come in different color tints, assisting in curbing the harshness of the light coming from a screen. They can also be pre-set to switch on at a certain time in the evening automatically so you never forget.

3. Use an eye mask and blackout curtains in your bedroom

A bedroom with blackout curtains

(Image credit: SIMON BEVAN)

Just as light disturbances indicate to your body that it’s time to wake up, a dark environment tells your body that it’s time to sleep. Installing a pair of blackout curtains and keeping an eye mask beside your bed is a great combo sure to limit any surplus light from entering the space.

‘Blackout curtains and eye masks can block out unwanted light which creates a dark environment for sleep,’ says Julia. ‘The darkness helps signal to the body that it’s time to go to bed which makes it easier to fall asleep.’

These curtains are a great way to make your bedroom darker for sleep, and are available in all sorts of colors and styles. A bright bubbling floral could be the face of your blackout curtains if that's the vibe that brings you joy! And, sleep masks are available at all kinds of price points, stemming from dollar store to luxury. We recommend starting out with a cheaper model to see if it's for you before making a larger investment.

4. Add a nightlight

Bedroom lighting ideas

(Image credit: Tala)

For those who struggle to fall asleep in pitch darkness, there are many nightlight options available at a range of prices to bring a subtle glow to your space.

I personally use a set of hanging battery lights that were only a dollar originally (25 cents on sale post-Christmas!) with a single tealight candle safely kept in a holder across the room. With a burn time of around two hours, the candle safely extinguishes on its own while I sleep.

There are also wake up lights, like the Hatch 2 Restore available at Amazon, for those wishing to enter consciousness in a less abrupt way than the jolt of alarm clocks! These lights replicate the rising and setting of the sun, becoming brighter as the morning progresses to wake you up with lighting instead of sound, and slowly lowering into deeper, warmer shades at night to help ease you into sleep.

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Ciéra Cree
Contributing Writer

Ciéra is a writer and regional laureate with particular passions for art, design, philosophy and poetry. As well as contributing to Livingetc, she's a writer for Design Anthology UK. When not writing about interiors Ciéra can likely be found getting lost in a book, charity shop "treasure hunting", or getting excited about Christmas regardless of what month it is. Previous commendations of hers include being Highly Commended by The Royal Society of Literature and receiving a prestigious MA Magazine Journalism scholarship.