7 Things to Remove from Your Bedroom for Better Sleep and Health

Blue light affects sleep quality

Your bedroom should be a place of rejuvenation, where you can relax after a long day of work. Plus, you spend seven or eight hours a day sleeping there. You want it to be a haven that’s also healthful. If you want your bedroom to be the healthiest place you can lay your head, here are seven things you should remove from your sleeping area to improve your health and sleep quality.

Sources of Blue Light

Do you play with your smartphone or tablet around bedtime? The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions can suppress your body’s production of melatonin and lead to disrupted sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep-wake cycle. A tiny gland in your brain called the pineal gland produces this sleep-inducing hormone in response to darkness to help your body fall asleep. Blue light interferes with your natural production of melatonin and can keep you from getting high-quality sleep. It can also disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythms that promote metabolic health and healthy weight control.

To reduce blue light during the evening hours, avoid using electronic devices within two hours before bedtime. This will allow your melatonin levels to build back up and help you get off to a healthy start.

Devices to remove from your bedroom to reduce blue light:

  • The computer or laptop monitor
  • Tablet or e-book reader
  • Cordless phone
  • Digital alarm clock
  • Some TVs and video game consoles

Dry Air

Adding moisture back into your bedroom doesn’t just make it more comfortable for sleeping; it can also improve your health. Dryness brings with it irritation and inflammation that can aggravate allergies and asthma symptoms. By moisturizing the air, you’ll breathe easier at night and wake up with less dry mouth, nasal passages, and dry eyes. Plus, moist nasal passages make it harder for viruses that cause upper-respiratory infections to gain a foothold.

Flame Retardants

Flame retardants are chemicals added to some plastics and foams to slow or prevent the spread of fire. Many bedrooms contain these chemicals linked to health issues, like cancer and neurological disorders. Studies also link them to thyroid problems, immune system disruption, and reproductive health issues like reduced fertility and increased risk of miscarriage. The risks are greater for children than adults due to their smaller body size and the fact they’re still growing.

Bedding is one of the highest holders of flame retardants. The chemicals are used in polyurethane foam, which can be found in pillows, mattresses, and box springs in a bedroom. Other sources include upholstery, carpets, curtains, and fabric blinds. Flame retardants are being phased out due to their risks, but they’re still present in some older products.


Radon is a naturally occurring gas that most people don’t know much about. This gas is produced by the decay of uranium found in rocks and soil, and it seeps into buildings through cracks in the foundation, flooring, or slab. Since radon gas is odorless and tasteless, many homes have high levels of it without the occupants being aware.

High levels of radon exposure increase your risk for lung cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Radon ranks second as a cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and smokers alike. Radon can be found in every state, and it is estimated to cause 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to the EPA.

What can you do to reduce radon? First, test it in your entire home, not just your bedroom. Test kits are inexpensive and easy to use. If the level of radon in your home is too high, radon mitigation systems will reduce radon and lower your health risk from this odorless gas.

 Outside Light at Night

Light shining in your bedroom window isn’t favorable for health either. If you can see your hand when you place it in front of you in your darkened bedroom, your bedroom isn’t dark enough. Light at night can cause your body to make less melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Research suggests that less melatonin in the body may be linked to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

How can you lower your light exposure at night? Remove all sources of light, including the blue light emitted by electronic devices. If the light is coming in through the curtains or blinds, install black-out curtains that block all light coming in. Some people also wear a mask over their eyes to block light at night.


Do you have allergies? A stuffy nose and post-nasal drainage from allergies are a common cause of disrupted sleep.  Even if you don’t have allergies, consider running an air purifier with a HEPA filter to clear the air. The filter traps particles like dust and pollen out of the air to help prevent allergic reactions or breathing issues.

Also, make sure your bedding and linens are free from allergens. Wash sheets once or twice a week in hot water and dry them on high heat in the dryer to kill dust mites, mold, and mildew. Wash your pillows every two weeks and replace worn blankets or duvets every three years.

That Old Mattress

Are you waking up in the morning with an achy back? Tossing out an old mattress can help you get a better night’s rest, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Mattress tags will list the date that the mattress was manufactured, and if it’s more than six to eight years old, replace it.

You may be thinking that an old mattress is still good if it doesn’t look or feel worn. However, mattress springs tend to lose their elasticity over time, causing them to sag and leaving you with less support for your back and neck. If you have had a mattress for longer than eight years, consider getting a new one.

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to make your bedroom the healthiest it can be. Taking these steps offers peace of mind and a better night’s sleep too!


  • “Radon | US EPA.” epa.gov/radon.
  • “Flame Retardants – niehs.nih.gov.” 09 Sept. 2021, niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/flame_retardants/index.cfm.
  • Lai KY, Sarkar C, Ni MY, Gallacher J, Webster C. Exposure to light at night (LAN) and risk of obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Environ Res. 2020 Aug;187:109637. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.109637. Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32497902.
  • Science of The Total Environment. Volume 762, 25 March 2021, 143159.
  • “How to Choose a Mattress | Sleep Foundation.” 09 Dec. 2021, sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/how-to-choose-a-mattress.
  • org. “When Should You Replace Your Mattress?”

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