11 Bedroom Updates for a Better Night's Sleep
Many factors — from caffeine consumption to exercise — can affect how well you sleep, but you can make a big impact by simply creating an environment that's conducive to slumber. Try some (or all) of these easy updates in your bedroom to kick-start a more restful year.
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Choose Calming Colors
Keep It Dark
Even the tiniest glow from a nightlight or outside street lamp can negatively affect your slumber. Invest in blackout curtains, a sleep mask or both for your bedroom.
Buy It: Sleep Mask, $4, target.com
Keep It Quiet
Rethink Your Alarm Clock
Being jolted awake in the morning by a standard alarm clock sometimes just doesn't work. Luckily, there are other, less jarring options out there. A wake-up light, for example, gradually gets brighter for about 30 minutes before your alarm time to wake you up naturally. Many wearable fitness trackers can gently wake you with a silent, vibrating alarm, too.
Buy It: Sunrise Simulator Alarm Clock, $33.24, target.com
Turn Down the Thermostat
Our core body temperatures actually need to drop in order to initiate sleep, and a cool room can help with this transition. Sleep.org recommends keeping bedroom temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees. If you like your home to be a little toastier during the day, consider investing in a smart thermostat. It'll quickly learn your habits and automatically adjust the temperature when it's time for bed.
Upgrade Your Pillows
Here's a trick from Sleep.org to help you determine if your pillows need replacing: If they don't spring back after you fold them in half, it's time to let them go. Consider how you sleep when buying new pillows: Back sleepers should choose thin pillows that cradle the neck. Stomach sleepers need the thinnest pillows available, or even no pillows. Side sleepers should opt for firm pillows with gussetting, or extra paneling on the sides.
Add Soothing Scents
Certain scents, such as lavender, vanilla and chamomile, are said to promote relaxation. Keep an aromatherapy lotion, linen spray or diffuser on your bedside table to help you unwind at night.
Create a Spot for Fido
For some, the sense of security from sharing the bed with a pet can actually promote better sleep, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic. But for others, a pet's nighttime movements can be disruptive. If you find that your furry friend is waking you up at night, give them their very own comfy spot to sleep off the bed.
Clear Your Head
If you frequently find yourself unable to fall asleep because tomorrow's to-do list is running through your head, it may be beneficial to keep a notebook on your bedside table where you can jot down lingering thoughts. Once they're in writing, you know you won't forget them, so your brain can stop fixating on them.