We sat down with the sleep experts to get their favorite tips for better sleep. Plus, learn about some of the best ways to fall asleep so you can catch some quality zzz’s each night.
Tips for better sleep
1. Avoid late-night screen time
One of the best ways to fall asleep is to nix artificial light at bedtime — and that includes avoiding screens, says Chris Sun, founder and CEO of My Sheets Rock. As the blue light emitted from electronics suppresses melatonin production, sleep experts recommend keeping screens like cell phones and computers out of the bedroom.
If you can’t avoid the screen altogether, Sun suggests turning down the brightness, enabling any nighttime settings on your mobile devices that reduce blue light, and trying to wrap up all electronic usage at least 30 minutes before bedtime. (Adding this to our bedtime routine now!)
2. Create a dark bedroom environment
Sleeping in a dark environment is one of the best tips for better sleep. That’s because bright lights will not only be disruptive as you’re falling asleep, but they can also throw off your natural circadian rhythm, which helps control your body’s internal clock, explains Sun.
So for optimal rest, try shutting off most artificial light as you wind down for bed in the evening. You should, of course, also close your blinds. If you live in a city or an incredibly urban area that stays largely lit up at night, consider investing in a set of blackout curtains.
3. Ditch the clutter
In addition to light, noise levels, and temperature, the level of clutter in your bedroom has also been shown to negatively impact your sleep, explains Sun.
Along with too much clutter, even the layout of your bedroom furniture can affect your quality of sleep. Sun suggests making your bedroom an enjoyable and peaceful space to relax in with minimal clutter, décor, and distractions for better sleep hygiene.
4. Keep your bedroom as cool as possible
“Overheating and night sweats are common causes of sleep disruption, and keeping cool is one of the most important factors for restful, quality sleep,” says Sun.
How cool is cool then? “Research shows the best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees,” shares Sun, so try to lower the thermostat as close to this range as possible and keep air circulating throughout the night.
“A ceiling fan or even a freestanding fan can go a long way in making your room feel cooler, and it is a cost- and energy-efficient option compared to running the AC alone during the hottest months [of the year],” notes Sun.
5. Try a sound machine
Living in downtown Chicago, I usually fall asleep to the sounds of the city. The steady hum and rhythm of the traffic on Lake Shore Drive are surprisingly rather soothing.
If you wish to be whisked away to somewhere way more peaceful come bedtime, say a cozy countryside cottage listening to the crickets chirp (or perhaps a crackling campfire is more your vibe), try a sound machine.
Two of my personal favorites are the Hatch Restore and the Hatch Rest 2nd Gen. So much more than a classic sound machine, you could basically consider these your super-smart sleep assistants. Oh, look at you, you so fancy!
6. Use temperature-regulating bedding
If you can’t control your thermostat like me (ahem, I’m looking at you Chicago apartment buildings!), opt for a set of cooling sheets. Sun says when choosing the right sheets, look for options that are budget-friendly and sustainable. He also recommends paying extra close attention to the material to make sure it’s both breathable and moisture-wicking.
“I prefer bamboo because it offers the most benefits for hot sleepers as the material wicks moisture, reduces humidity, and stretches, all while staying extremely soft,” says Sun. “Linen and rayon can also work well, but make sure to avoid polyester and nylon blends as these synthetic fabrics are far less breathable and temperature regulating.”