When a good night’s rest is hard to find, these easy changes to your sleep environment may help.
This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation
You’ve tried everything from cutting out caffeine to subbing in meditation for your usual pre-bed phone scroll. And yet, you’re still not getting the quality sleep you need to function on all cylinders in the morning. What else can you do?
Turning your attention to your sleep environment may reveal some useful insights into the way you sleep, and minor adjustments can yield big results in improving your experience. For simple ways to upgrade your bedroom environment follow these tips.
Improve Your Bedding
A lumpy mattress and worn-out pillows are enough to give anyone nightmares. If you find yourself sleeping poorly night after night, it could be a sign that it’s time to get better bedding. Find a new comfortable mattress. A quality one can last up to 10 years. Pillows, on the other hand, should be replaced around every 18 months for health reasons. Consider encasing them in dust-proof or allergen impermeable coverings to help prevent mold or dust mites. Another smart move: Wash pillowcases in hot water (130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) at least once a week.
When sheet shopping, look for a thread count between 200 and 400. Anything higher will trap body heat, making you uncomfortably warm, especially during the summer months. Sheets made of natural materials (like bamboo) will keep you cool by wicking away sweat.
Monitor the Temperature
Over the course of the day, your body temperature fluctuates in conjunction with your sleep cycle, reaching its lowest level between 4 and 5 AM. While it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat to make your bedroom extra cozy, if it’s too hot it might interfere with your natural temperature dip during the night, causing you to wake up. A cool room makes the best environment for sleeping. Use 65 degrees as a baseline and only make minor adjustments from there based on your personal preferences.
Keep It Quiet
Whether you have a snoring partner or live on a busy street, loud or sporadic noises can interfere with sleep. (You’re more likely to wake up from a disruptive noise during stages 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle when you’re sleeping lightly than you are during deeper sleep. ) One solution: Invest in a white noise machine. These devices create a neutral background noise that helps mute loud sounds like an ambulance siren. A fan or an air purifier may work as well.