A Scientists’ Guide to Better Sleep

Clean sheets, the ideal temperature, and other expert tips

Jamie Friedlander
Elemental
Published in
6 min readApr 12, 2019

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Credit: Burak Karademir/Getty Images

YYou already know that getting enough sleep each night is important for your health. Time spent sleeping is only part of the equation, though. Yes, getting a full night’s rest is great, but only if it’s actually restful. Those seven to nine hours aren’t as restorative if they aren’t uninterrupted, in line with your body’s natural rhythms, and balanced with the right amount of REM.

Better quality sleep isn’t something you can just will into being, says Dr. Vikas Jain, a sleep medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine. “One point I try to drive home to people is: Don’t put a ton of effort into your sleep,” he says. “Because the harder you try, the harder it will become. You have to remember that sleep is something we want to come naturally. If you’re trying to force it, it’s going to become much more difficult.”

Below, eight sleep experts share their advice for the best ways to set up your bedroom to ensure you get a good night’s rest. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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Ideally, the bedroom has the best mattress you can afford. We’re on that surface for what should be a third of our lives, so investing in a…

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Jamie Friedlander
Elemental

Chicago-based freelance writer specializing in mental health. Words in The Cut, VICE, SUCCESS Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and more. www.jamiegfriedlander.com