Insomnia ebbs and flows for me, and while it has been better IN GENERAL this year, the last couple of weeks sleep has eluded me. There are many factors to this that are out of my control, but one element of my bedroom helps set me up for sleep success: my well-equipped and lovely-to-look-at bedside table. Before I didn’t even fully have a bedside table, just a space next to my bed where I put, and more often than not SPILLED, my water. This added to my restlessness because I didn’t have any of my creature comforts nearby.

Now I have a bedside table and it helps a lot. This brings me to my theory that a well-done bedside table can help ease the troubles of insomnia. In order to do so, the bedside table in question needs to be:

1. Functional  If you have ear plugs, a face mask, a wave machine, melatonin, Tylenol PM, and a stack of good books within arm’s reach, you lay your head on the pillow knowing that IF you need one of these things, they are right there. There is no need to worry. Just knowing they are there, usually means I don’t even need them.

2. Aesthetically clean EVERY surface of your home has the potential to be aesthetically pleasing and lovely. The space that you see before you close your eyes at night and first upon opening them in the morning (or even in the middle of the night) should be calming and clean. You should know exactly where everything is and be able to quickly unclutter the area before bed, allowing your mind to be at ease with its surroundings.

3. Evoke a soothing response That might sound a bit ethereal, but think about it, your subconscious is a powerful thing. If you have bills or an image reminding you of a stressful work week in a place that you will see before bed, it may seep into your thoughts or dreams. The relics within eyesight before you drift off should evoke restful, calming thoughts and feelings. From my spot in bed I can see prints of people floating in the ocean, a vintage pewter moon face, a dream catcher, and even my grandparent’s cigarette box is in the most soothing color, light pink.

What is on YOUR bedside table, and does it affect how you sleep? To those of you who drift off effortless, I envy you. Please don’t judge us crazies who have to style and stage their bedside tables in hope’s of tricking their brains into thinking life is relaxing.