The Bedroom Environment

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation

While you’re designing a bedroom for better rest, don’t leave your nose out of the picture. Interestingly, there is some evidence that certain smells may have an effect on your sleep. For example, lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state. In one study, researchers monitored the brain waves of subjects at night and found that those who sniffed lavender before bed had more deep sleep and felt more vigorous in the morning. Another study of infants found that they cried less and slept more deeply after a bath with lavender scented oils. Of course, lavender is not a cure for insomnia, but having oils, candles, or sachets in your room could be a calming part of your bedtime routine.

Surrounding yourself with the scent you like could help you drift off and, in fact, one study found that smells (both good and bad) influence our dreams. Most importantly, keep your room clean and use laundry detergents and other scented products with a pleasing smell, or no smell at all if that is your preference.

Supporting Research

An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women

Effects of lavender inhalation