some changes to how and when you sleep. Get your pillow and blanket ready to use – or throw out depending on their condition – and prepare yourself to get a more restful night's sleep.
Invest in new items
One of the major causes of not sleeping well is having uncomfortable pillows, sheets, and comforters; the quality and condition of the mattress is especially important. For National Sleep Comfort Month, ditch those old items and treat yourself to some new ones. If you're going to purchase a new mattress, test it out in the store rather than ordering it online so you can find one that's just right for you.
Get blackout curtains or an eye mask
I get a ton of sunlight into my bedroom, and while it's a great feature of the room, it's not so wonderful in the morning when I'm trying to sleep. A friend suggested I get blackout curtains and they were absolutely worth the money. When you have too much light coming in your room and it's disrupting your sleep, try blackout curtains. Another option is using a sleep mask if you're worried that blackout curtains will block out so much light you'll have a problem waking up on time in the morning.
Take a nap
Some feel guilty about taking a nap during the day, but for National Sleep Comfort Month, go for it if you feel the urge. However, forgo the naps if you start having problems falling asleep at night.
Start a sleep journal
Almost everyone has certain triggers that cause them not to sleep well at night. It could be watching scary movies before bed, eating certain foods, or looking at a computer screen. Each day for National Sleep Comfort Month, write down what you did in the few hours before bed, how you slept that night and how you felt the next morning and throughout the day. You'll learn the triggers to avoid that are causing you not to have a restful night's sleep.
There's no shortage of noise in NYC – loud neighbors, honking horns, street performers – all of it can disrupt your sleep. Invest in a good pair of earplugs; they can be a lifesaver when you're trying to sleep through a ton of noise.
Reduce allergens in your bedroom
Pet dander, dust, mold, pollen and a variety of other things in your bedroom can irritate your allergies, and in turn, make it difficult to have a good night's sleep. If this is the case, there are several things you can do to reduce the allergens you have in your bedroom. Forgo carpeting in favor of hardwood floors, don't leave windows open during allergy season, wash bedding once a week in hot water, and use allergen reducing bedding and pillows. It's also important to keep pets out of your bedroom and use an allergen reducing air purifier.
The changes are simple enough that they can be done fairly easily, but they can create big improvements in the long-term. National Sleep Comfort Month can be a changing point for you to make some adjustments and drastically improve your quality of sleep.