Home Improvement

You’re getting very sleepy — because you’ve made these changes in your bedroom

Here are four things to consider before you resort to counting sheep.

Woman counts sheep to sleep. Insomnia cartoon vector illustration. Girl counting sheep lie on pillow, insomnia and sleeplessness, sleeping and thinking
Some people have sought a "sleep divorce" for a good night's rest. Adobe Stock

There’s no feeling like coming home after a long day and falling into bed to sleep, only to be so stressed about what you have to do the next day that you toss and turn until it arrives. 

If that tale sounds familiar, maybe it is time to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly. Some of our readers tried — and loved — sleep divorce, but if that’s not for you, there are other ways to wake up refreshed.

Dr. Sanford H. Auerbauch, director of the Boston Medical Center’s Sleep Disorders Center, said the key to a good night’s sleep is being able to wind down.


“To sleep properly,” Auerbach said, “we need to be able to relax. A lot of things go into our ability to relax. Some of those include the environment.”

Sleeping on a regular schedule helps develop a routine, but what happens before bed — and the environment it happens in — makes a big difference in a person’s sleep that night, Auerbach said. However, much of this is based on personal preference.

“Some people will read half a paragraph and fall asleep,” Auerbach said. “Other people get into bed reading and stay up all night until they finish the book. It’s a matter of self-assessment of what’s relaxing.”

He added that downtime helps you prepare for sleep by separating you from your day — but what matters most is that it’s dark and cool when you turn off the lights.

If you really want a good night’s sleep, you have to ask yourself what relaxes you. Here are four things Auerback said to consider the next time you hit the hay.


Luxurious large bedroom with black dark gray walls and a bed. Deep rich colors grey, graphite and white. Blank mockup background design room. Empty space for art. Generative AI
Paint your bedroom a color that will help you sleep. Hint: Red is energizing, so maybe skip that one. – Adobe Stock

Dark environments are most conducive to sleeping, but this doesn’t mean you have to paint your bedroom walls black. Instead, opt for a color that helps you wind down before bed, and keep your bedroom dark with light-blocking curtains or shades. Turn off lights and screens while you sleep, and keep them away from your bed.



Light-blocking shades or curtains can help keep your room cool.

Auerbach said sleeping in “slightly cool” temperatures can help you rest well. The Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your space between 60 and 71 degrees, but there are other strategies for keeping your space cool, including ceiling fans, cooling mattresses, and light-blocking shades or curtains.


Master bedroom interior with private balcony in a new construction home. Northwest, USA
It helps to move your bed away from windows. – Adobe Stock

Keeping extra noise to a minimum creates a better sleeping environment. If it fits your budget, this could mean soundproofing your space, but a less expensive alternative is simply moving your bed away from windows, especially those that overlook streets. If those aren’t options, the Sleep Foundation suggests a white noise machine or speakers with calming music.

Clutter (or lack thereof)

Cluttered, messy teenage boys bedroom with piles of clothes, music and sports equipment.
Cluttered bedroom, cluttered mind. – Adobe Stock

Creating separate spaces for day and night — stimulation and sleep — ensures a good night of rest. Ridding your space of clutter helps bring you into a nighttime mentality by clearing your mind before sleep. 

“Daytime stressors” come in many forms — leftover mugs of tea and coffee, tangles of tech cords and laptops, or piles of to-be-folded laundry. 

Those clothes can wait until after you’ve had your morning coffee.


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