More than 63 percent of us toss and turn at night — so if you’re searching for ways to sleep better, you’re not alone. Luckily, a few easy changes can help ensure you get the good night’s rest you deserve. Here are five tips for making your bedroom environment more conducive to solid shut-eye.
End restless nights by opening a window.
You’ll fall asleep 24 percent faster and wake up more energized simply by cracking open a bedroom window for 10 minutes before turning in, according to new research. During the day, when the A/C is on and windows are shut, carbon dioxide accumulates in your home, which causes tossing and turning at night. Letting in fresh air ventilates your bedroom, so you breathe in more sleep-promoting oxygen.
Stop night sweats with a lavender sachet.
Longer summer days throw off your body’s temperature-regulating system, worsening night sweats. The fix: Tuck a lavender sachet into your pillowcase. Breathing in this scent helps reset your core temperature, cutting the frequency of night sweats in half. One to try: Lavande Sur Terre French Lavender Sachets, $19.99, Amazon.
Enjoy deeper zzzs with a whirring fan.
The trick to getting the deepest slumber? Turn on a fan. And not just because it cools you off by making the room temperature feel up to eight degrees lower. The gentle whir of its blades masks outdoor summer noise (we’re looking at you, crickets!). That’s key, since research in the journal SLEEP shows that as we get older, exposure to sound shortens the time we spend in the deepest stages of sleep. Bottom line: By masking the racket, you’ll stay in these reenergizing phases longer. One to try: Geek Aire Rechargeable Portable Fan, $159.99, Amazon.
Fall back asleep faster with a red nightlight.
You’re likely keeping cool by drinking plenty of iced tea and snacking on juicy watermelon — but all of that hydrating also means you’re waking up more often at night to trek to the bathroom. If you find it difficult to get back to sleep, just put a red bulb in your nightlight. The crimson color doesn’t restart your inner clock like a white bulb does, say British researchers. As a result, you stay drowsy, making it easy to fall back into dreamland. One to try: emagine A Sleep Aid Red LED Nightlight, $17.99, Amazon.
Breathe easier with a pillow wall.
Stuffy nose from allergies behind your sleep-stealing snoring? Just make a “wall” with two pillows. Sleep on your left side to open your right nasal passage (or your right side to open your left, depending on which side is stuffed) and prop the wall behind you so you stay in position. Studies show this nixes congestion by using gravity to drain excess fluid from sinuses. Aah, relief!
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine.