5 Tips for Creating a Good Sleep Environment

by Florence Cardinal Patient Expert

How well you sleep depends a great deal on how deep you're into your comfort zone. Here are key factors for sleeping comfortably.

Smiling woman in bed.

The right mattress and pillow

A firm mattress and a pillow that is suited to your individual taste is an important first step. There are a number of stores that can help you find the right fit.

Man wearing eye mask and ear plugs to sleep.

Eliminating noise

Noisy neighbors. Barking dogs. The honking and screeching of traffic. Any and all of these can keep you awake. One way of controlling noise is to use earplugs. Or you could try listening to soothing music or taped nature sounds.

Sleeping woman wearing eye mask.

The right lighting

Although it is possible to sleep with a light on, a deeper and more relaxing sleep can be attained if the bedroom is dark or the light is very dim. A flashing neon sign outside your window, or the strobe-like effects of passing headlights is enough to give you a restless, if not a sleepless night. Drapes or blinds can reduce the glare, or try a padded night mask over your eyes.

Feet outside the covers in bed.

The perfect temperature

In the summer, it's hard to sleep when you're so hot, even without any blankets. Several ways exist to combat this. One of the best is the breeze from an open window, but often other factors prohibit this - noise, dust, and those tiny bugs that can creep through the finest screen.An air conditioner is a plus, but don't turn it too high. It's just as hard to sleep when you're shivering as when you are sweating.

Fan creating white noise at night.

Use white noise

A fan can pull double duty by helping with the temperature and noise, producing "white noise." Some people like to sleep with the tv on at a low level (though this can disrupt sleep due to light), or listen to music or other soothing sounds.

Florence Cardinal
Meet Our Writer
Florence Cardinal

Florence wrote for HealthCentral as patient expert for Sleep Disorders.