Some tips on falling asleep fast & waking up feeling refreshed.

If you’ve struggled to fall asleep at night, it’s likely that your routine or environment might be to blame. The same can be said for those whom can fall asleep just fine, but wake up feeling sluggish or tired all over again. Before you run to the doctor or medicine cabinet, check out these tips on changes you can make to your bedroom to get the most out of your night.

1.  Block outdoor light before sleeping.

Bright lights and outdoor noise can disturb a good night’s sleep. A full moon or streetlights should be blocked out with dark curtains or a curtain liner so you can rest in a nighttime darkness.

2. But let the sun in each morning.

Light isn’t all bad for sleep when you know how to use it! Open the curtains to let the sun in as soon as you wake up, to help you get motivated and start the day and keep your circadian rhythm in swing. Setting the rule to get out of the bed and open the curtains the moment your alarm goes off will also keep you from snoozing, making you feel more refreshed.

3. Set the mood.

A brightly-painted bedroom isn’t doing favors for anyone. Stick with calming colors–a cool blue, light green–that relax you. Also install light dimmers, or use lower wattage bulbs, so you won’t be kept wide awake and wired just before going to sleep. Make your room a calming place!

4. Keep away the electronics.

Don’t check your phone, and don’t stare at your computer screen right before going to bed. Turning off all electronic devices or putting the phone on airplane mode keeps the interruptions away. Also consider covering the face of your brightly-lit alarm clock with black tape, or turning it to face the wall. 

5. Your bed is for you (and your partner) only.

It’s not the pet’s bed, it’s not a place for the kids to play, and it’s certainly not the spot for doing your work-from-home assignments. This should be your space alone, and it’s important for a good night’s sleep to keep the stress and riffraff separate from sleep.

6.  Set a bathing ritual.

A spa-like treatment can soothe body, mind and soul–and is a perfect way to get some deep relaxation in preparation for a night’s sleep! Break out the essential oils, soap and scented candles, and schedule a nice night in for yourself every so often. Throwing in some meditation time will help as well!

7.  Try some white noise.

Block out the sounds of traffic or old, creaky floorboards with some white noise. This could be the drone of a fan, or you might listen to a white noise app or album on your phone or mp3 player. White, pink and brown noise are soothing for many–and even required for some to get a restful sleep.

8. Don’t eat or drink too close to bedtime.

Schedule a reasonable time for dinner and drinking. You definitely don’t want to do either of these within two hours of going to sleep, but having several hours between dinner and bedtime will help you sleep throughout the night. Otherwise, you may find yourself waking up to use the bathroom–or might have strange, disrupting dreams.

9. Keep everything clean.

Cover your mattress and wash linens thoroughly and often. Dust mites and mold can get into your mattress over time, so flip over the mattress with each new season and clean your sheets to keep things fresh, clean and allergy-free.

10. Stick with a schedule.

The best way to get a good night sleep is keeping consistent. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day–whether you work or not–to establish a circadian rhythm, You’ll find that your body will become ready to sleep (and get up!) with the schedule you’ve set for yourself, which means no detrimental naps or oversleeping.