You really need sleep, almost certainly more than you’re getting. Today, with the help of Lifehacker readers, a decade of sleep coverage from our Editorial staffs, and my own victories in the battle with insomnia, we’re helping you best equip yourself to get those hours.
You should be sleeping in total darkness. Ban the televisions, phones, laptops, and tablets from the bedroom. If you’re going to use a device in bed, an e-reader is a much better bet, but remember that all light suppresses melatonin to some degree. For the light-emitting electronics in your room like surge protectors that aren’t so easily kicked out, try light dimming stickers or good old-fashioned black tape, and stop looking at that clock.
Once you’ve stopped producing your own sleep-destroying light, it’s time to deal with the light coming in from elsewhere, like the New York City skyline... or the moon. Lifehacker’s Melanie Pinola recommended the official curtain of the National Sleep Foundation for this purpose, which is a great option. Of course, your preference in color, texture, and the size and shape of your windows will dictate your choices here as well.
A sleep mask is the path of least resistance when it comes to keeping the light out of your eyes of course, and a portable solution that you’ll come to not be able to sleep without. Most sleep masks wear like refugees from a BDSM starter kit, but the Sleep Master is quite possibly the best $25 you’ll ever spend. It blocks all light and some sound, actually fits on your face comfortably, and stays cool.
Hopefully you’re in a situation where the noise around you is easier to deal with than the light, because you can’t do much about your neighbors or the flight paths you live under.
Ear plugs make for an obvious solution, but you want to get the right kind. Small foam inserts work best. You wouldn’t want them for a loud, damaging concert (you’d want these), you don’t need to block out a crazy amount of sound or maintain any level of quality. You just need to block out enough sound to stay asleep without causing much discomfort. You can order foam earplugs in bulk on the cheap. The simple cylindrical type tend to work best for sleep because very little protrudes, and you can get 50 for $11. The slightly-longer ones cost a little less, at $22 for 200. Either way, just shove ‘em in your ears at night and you’ll sleep well. - Lifehacker
The sleep mask and curtains we mentioned above will also block out varying degrees of noise.
Of course silence can be deafening, and many people sleep better with some white noise happening. Tell us about your favorite white noise apps, machines, and sleep-centric playlists in the comments.
Whatever your optimum level of coolness is, make sure you’re getting there. Ceiling fans are great additions to any room, and we’ll be running our Best A/C Window Unit and Best Fan Kinja Co-Ops when it gets warmer, but you can’t go wrong with Vornado.
A quality comparison of air purifiers was one of the biggest holes in the Internet product recommendation sphere until The Sweethome finally took on the task. They chose the Coway Mighty Air Purifier with True HEPA, a fairly compact and refreshingly affordable model, as their pick for most people. I’ve been using it since October with nothing but good things to say.
For those dealing with dry air, check out our Best Humidifier Co-Op for some great recommendations.
Lavender can freshen up your mattress but it can also help you sleep. Combine 10 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 tablespoons witch hazel (or Vodka if you’re a Deadspin reader), and 6 tablespoons of filtered water in whatever spray bottle you like (I like the non-plastic kind), and give your room a few sprays.
You can search endlessly for a mattress, and probably get taken for a ride in the process, or you can just buy a Casper. Casper mattresses are mostly memory foam with a top layer of premium latex, fully supporting the sleeper while keeping them cool and stopping them from sinking into the bed. Their one size fits all firmness is dead on, and their cut out the middle man business model makes their mattresses an amazing deal.
How you wake up can make all the difference in how refreshed you feel, regardless of the total number of hours you spent sleeping. Gizmodo’s Jordan Kushins recommended The Philips Wake-Up Light in March last year, and it went on to become one of our Most Popular Products of 2014. Waking up to a traditional alarm is the worst of all the first world problems, don’t settle for it.
Don’t settle for mediocre morning coffee either, here’s our guide, with an update coming soon.