The nightstand is a curious place.
For some, it is merely a functional piece of bedroom furniture. A place for a lamp, alarm clock, and perhaps a cup of tea.
For others, it is a microcosm of our day, a detritus of post-it notes, kid’s toys, broken glasses, and the like. If this sounds like you, your old relationship with your bedroom is over. Tonight, put on your best pajamas and get ready for a one nightstand.
What was once a mere table is now going to be your ticket to the Land of Nod. If your lamp or wall lighting does not already have a dimmer switch, change it to a soft white 60-watt bulb or add an in-line dimmer switch to the cord. One of the major influences on our circadian rhythms is light. By reducing the wattage and warming the color temperature of the bulb, we are creating a sunset experience in our bedroom.
Next, look at your alarm clock. Does it glow? Tick? Or, most likely, is it your cell phone? If the latter, make sure to check that the alarm is set before your start to wind down for the day. Otherwise, if you’re anything like me, when you are in bed and you set the alarm, you’re tempted to check one more email or write one more text. Then, you wonder how to get the last hour of your life back that you just spent on your favorite app.
Now for the hard part. (And remember: mindful changes require subtle shifts.) Do you have a TV in your room? Phase one: put the remote by the TV. You will be less likely to turn it on if you must cross the room. Phase two: if possible, place the TV in a cabinet. If it’s large, consider placing a decorative screen in front. Phase three: remove that bad boy from your room altogether.
Let the fun phase begin! Create a sensory experience. The addition of an essential oil diffuser on a timer or diffusing reeds can evoke a relaxation response. Consider purchasing a pillow specific to your positional needs and soft, organic bed linens. Invest in your sleeping environment instead of technology. Be mindful of what your hard-earned money supports. Are you supporting the cable company or yourself?
Stock your nightstand with books. Make sure there is as much variation as you would have on TV. Consider poetry, art images, philosophy, short stories or fiction. Stay away from project books, self-help or anything that triggers thoughts of planning or worry. Books that draw us in on a deeper level or are light-hearted slow our chattering minds.
Personally, I pick small books, as I am petite, and fear larger tomes may crush me as I drift off to sleep. If you have a sleeping companion, you may suggest they have a one nightstand as well. It may just be the best thing that happens in your bedroom. . .well, maybe.