As thousands of students flee the family home and head to university this week, decorating student digs with a 'brain-boosting' décor could help freshers become high flyers.
According to new research, being brainy isn't all about the lecture hall environment - if you want to do well, transforming student bedrooms into a Brain Boosting Environment is an essential factor in academic success, say experts.
Top tips to creating a 'Brain Boosting Bedroom':
- Choose shades of green and blue to boost concentration, memory and emotional tranquility
- Opt for blackout blinds to create the optimum sleeping environment
- Invest in bedding that will aid smart recovery and bolster sleep
- Keep clutter to a minimum for a clear mind
- Ensure rooms are bright during study time - with mirrored furniture and clever natural lighting
And according to experts here's why:
- Choose shades of green and blue for a calming environment
According to Betta Living's interior designer Amanda Watson, who designs fitted bedroom schemes for hundreds of teens across the UK says, "Gentle shades of green and blue help concentration, memory and emotional tranquillity. Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing. Strong blues will stimulate clear thoughts and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently the bedroom is serene and mentally calming."
Similarly, "Green is said to counteract headaches, disturbances of vision and loss of concentration and gentle shades of blue and green are therefore thought to relieve stress and improve concentration levels.
If you're in rented accommodation and haven't the option of painting your walls, opt for blue or green bedding, cushions and rugs - these soft furnishings will also help to give your new room a nice homely touch, helping you to settle in.
- Use blackout blinds - essential to aid sleep
Teens need 9 1/4 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to function best, says the Sleep Foundation. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn't have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, light and darkness are cues that tell your body it's time to rest or wake up in the morning, meaning that if light is peeking in from the outside at bedside, the quality of sleep is affected. It states that "artificial light after dark (such as external street lamps) can send wake-up messages to the brain, suppressing the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep."
Consequently, blackout blinds will help to create a darkened environment, perfect for getting a good night's sleep and are particularly useful during the summer seasons when the sleeping routine can get disrupted by a change to daylight saving hours.
- Get bedding to support Smart Recovery
After a day studying the one thing that will help the brain recover fully is having a good night's sleep. Choice of pillows and duvets can make a huge impact on sleep quality.
The Fine Bedding Company's Smartfil® bedding products use innovative micro-fibre blends specially created to help induce a great night's sleep; clever technology for clever minds!
Its new Smart Recovery Bedset has been designed to support a recovery programme to improve personal performance. Its Smartfil fibres (unique to the Fine Bedding Company's parent company) deliver unrivalled breathability and temperature control as well as being non-allergic for the ultimate comfort and recovery.
- Ensure bedrooms are clutter-free for a clear mind
According to Feng Shui experts clutter creates low, stagnant and confusing energy that constantly drains energy from you. Bedroom designer Amanda Watson agrees: "The basic principals of Feng Shui say that we are influenced by things, events and people closest to us so a clutter-free bedroom to give the mind space to take in the essential information needed for cramming.
With student hall bedrooms being so limited on space, cramming a year's worth of clothes and books between these contained four walls can be a tough task. That's why it's essential to use storage to the best effect, removing any access items creating visual clutter.
- Let There Be Light
Sunlight lifts the mood and improves energy levels, helping you to feel more focused and motivated. Light directly influences our emotions because it reaches the brain through the eyes, and is transmitted to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is connected to almost every other part of the brain, and involved with the regulation of hormones involved in motivation and reward. As a consequence, light has an effect on our basic drives and biological functions.
Try introducing mirrored furniture into the bedroom to reflect natural light or introduce clever natural lighting solutions such as Betta Living's Illuminate Box Shelf Lights and LED Plinth Lighting to brighten up dark corners.
And finally, a steady supply of fresh air is very important. Fresh air provides you with a steady supply of oxygen which is needed by your brain and every single cell of your body. If you stay in a closed in area for a long period of time, you will end up breathing in the same air over and over again. The oxygen content of the air will go down continually as you breathe out carbon dioxide and other wastes. Breathing this stale air will not supply your body with enough oxygen to keep your cells fueled and functioning properly.