Skip To Content
    Updated on Nov 10, 2019. Posted on Nov 5, 2019

    27 Super Cheap And Easy Ways To Improve Your Sleep

    Small changes, better zzzzs.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Figure out how many hours of sleep you actually need every night — eight hours may be the most common recommendation, but every body's different.

    sleepfoundation.org

    Some people may function at their best on just five hours of sleep, while others (like me! and 95% of the population) need seven to eight — or even nine. Read more about how to figure this out from The National Sleep Foundation.

    2. And establish a bedtime and sleep routine that works with your goals, habits, and sleep preferences.

    Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post / huffpost.com

    This suggested routine from The Huffington Post is a good place to start; you can use these as a guideline and template to figure out something that works for your life.

    3. Which means going to bed and waking up at around the same time basically every single day, including the weekends.

    ABC

    4. Turn your thermostat down so your bedroom's around 65 to 67 degrees.

    Nickelodeon / giphy.com

    As BuzzFeed Goodful previously reported, our bodies find it easier to sleep in cooler temperatures — with covers, of course!

    5. Or at least sleep with a fan on so you *feel* a little cooler. Plus its white noise may be enough to mute out any distracting background sounds so you can actually relax.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this to put in my room because I tend to get hot when I'm sleeping. At first glance I thought this fan didn't seem as strong as I thought it'd be. However after setting it on my dresser to point towards my bed, it's absolutely PERFECT!!! My husband loves it too for the gentle white noise effect." —Angela

    It's 11 inches in diameter, and it's available on Amazon for $13.39.

    6. If you need even more serious white noise than a fan can provide, consider getting a white noise machine to completely drown out any sounds that might disturb your slumber.

    amazon.com

    This machine has ten fan sounds plus ten other ambient noise effects, and a very precise volume control so you can find your perfect sleep combination. Plus it has a timer, so it doesn't have to run all night long. (Some reviewers even use it in their open office).

    Promising review: "This is so great. I've been using white noise machines for years and years but ended up finding this through BuzzFeed. My old machine had looping audio and drove me insane, so the fact that this is non-looping is everything. It's also very sleek and modern. I live in downtown Boston with construction sites literally boxing me in my building with noise nearly 24/7 between that and cops/fire trucks. This knocks out the noise and allows me to sleep or nap at any time of day without hearing anything." —ML

    It's on Amazon for $49.95 (available in black and white).

    7. If white noise doesn't cut it (or if you just don't like it, or are looking for an even more budget-friendly option), try using earplugs to completely block out any sounds.

    Michelle No / BuzzFeed

    The biggest downside here: you may not be able to hear your alarm in the morning. But if you're not falling asleep or sleeping well because of other sounds anyway, these still could be worth a try.

    A BuzzFeeder swears these quiet contour earplugs are the best sleep aids under $10, and 920 other five-star reviewers love them, too. Get 10 pairs on Amazon for $2.98.

    8. An hour or so before bedtime, turn off your brightest overhead lights and instead use warm-light lamps, to help signal your body that it's time to wind down.

    Amazon

    Light is hands-down the most powerful environmental cue that tells your body when it's time to be awake and when it's bedtime. "That's why you have a hard time sleeping in when the sun has risen and your room is bright," Dr. Amy Atkeson, assistant professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, previously told BuzzFeed.

    It doesn't *have* to be an old-school Edison bulb — the lamps you already own would work perfectly well! — but if you like the style, you can get the pictured dimmable table lamp on Amazon for $21.99 and a six-pack of dimmable Edison bulbs for $17.95.

    9. You can even get a plug-in dimmer switch to tone-down the brightness of any non-LED plug-in light, so your living room and bedroom can be extra cozy.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "This does exactly what it says on the package. I bought it because I strung up fairy lights on my headboard but I found them too bright for trying to sleep (yes, I'm 25 and I still like a nightlight occasionally whatever). This works just like you'd think. You plug it in, then the lights into the dimmer, and it...dims. Lights. It makes my fairy lights go from "electric city" to "oh man maybe there really are living things strung up in a line giving me enough light to feel safe". This dimmer was a good investment and I'm excited to try it out during Christmas." —AP

    Get it on Amazon for $11.64 (also available in brown).

    10. And (I'm sorry, I know this is hard) ...turn off the TV, close your laptop, and put down your phone.

    CBS

    They all emit ~blue light~ that tells your body it's daytime, and even though the Night Shift mode and apps like f.lux theoretically help reduce that, it may or may not make that much of a difference.

    11. If you use your phone as an alarm, consider charging it in another room and using an actual alarm clock, instead.

    amazon.com

    That way, you're free from the temptation to scroll after you get under the covers. (If rolling over and seeing the time on a clock stresses you out, simply move it somewhere nearby, but out of sight).

    If you don't still have your alarm clock from high school (just me?), this small cube alarm clock comes in four colors (pink, purple, green, and black), lights up when you tap the "snooze" button, and otherwise emits no light until the alarm goes off. It's easy to set, and tracks the date, too. Get it on Amazon for $13.99.

    12. Basically, when it comes time to go to sleep and sleep through the night, you want your room as completely dark as possible.

    Amazon

    So close your blinds or curtains, shut the door to the bathroom so the night light doesn't shine, keep your phone in the other room so it doesn't flicker with a notification and disturb you. If what you use already doesn't quite cut it, consider getting blackout curtains — super thick curtains that can block out all incoming light, even daylight. Get a set on Amazon for $22.30+ (available in six sizes and nine colors).

    13. If for some reason that's not gonna happen, you can ~simulate~ a dark room using a sleep mask — this one even lets you open your eyes without letting any light in.

    amazon.com

    It has adjustable velcro straps, but it won't put pressure on your eyelids when you tighten it. It's lightweight, and multiple reviewers say even their eyelashes don't seem to touch the inside of the mask. It also stays out of your nose's way!

    Get it on Amazon for $9.69+ (three colors/patterns).

    14. Figure out a pillow that works best for the sleep positions you like the most so you're more comfortable all night long (and don't wake up with weird neck- or headaches).

    amazon.com, amazon.com, amazon.com

    According to The National Sleep Foundation:

    Back sleepers need a thinner pillow that cradles their necks.

    This pillow (pictured top left) lets you adjust the amount of filler inside of it, so you can figure out your ideal level of support. Get a pack of two on Amazon for $59.99.

    Stomach sleepers need ultra thin pillows — or even no pillows at all.

    Get a highly-rated ultra-thin gel memory foam pillow on Amazon (pictured top right) for $48.95.

    Side sleepers need a thicker pillow with a gusset (i.e. an extra panel of height sewn in between the two sides of the pillow).

    Get a well-reviewed set of two gusseted pillows filled with gel and fiber on Amazon (pictured bottom right) for $29.99+ (available in queen or king size).

    15. If you suffer from chronic pain, try to sleep in a position that might help minimize it.

    sheknows.com

    Read more on SheKnows.

    16. And if you're a side sleeper, try a memory-foam knee pillow to help relieve any back pain you have.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I am a side sleeper that has lower back pain in the morning. I picked this shape because my chiropractor recommended a pillow shaped like an hourglass to help my back. I also chose this pillow because it had a strap that can be adjusted to your leg or completely removed. I have been using the pillow for over a week and my lower back feels much better in the morning. The strap keeps the pillow attached without having to be adjusted when I turn over." —CH

    Get it on Amazon for $24.95.

    17. Make your room smell like something (anything, really) that makes you feel happy and relaxed.

    amazon.com, Frostbeard / Etsy

    According to The National Sleep Foundation, any smell that helps you relax can help you get to sleep faster.

    Lots of people swear by lavender — you can diffuse the essential oil ($12.12 on Amazon) as you get ready for bed and doze off (this diffuser, $19.99 on Amazon, automatically turns itself off when the water tank's empty). You could even just shake a few drops of the oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz your pillow.

    But really, any scent that you find personally relaxing works — it could even be a particular perfume or candle you love. (Like this one that smells like old books, $18 from Frostbeard on Etsy. If you do light a candle, don't forget to blow it out before you fall asleep!)

    18. As much as you can, don't keep anything in your bedroom that causes you even the smallest amount of stress, and think about it as a ~sanctuary~.

    Disney

    The National Sleep Foundation says even thinking about your bedroom should help you relax. Which could mean finally taking the time to clear the clutter on your dresser, or getting rid of that teddy bear from your ex that's still sitting in the corner.

    19. And stop using any bedding that isn't incredibly comfortable — if it's scratchy, too hot, or frustrating (like the sheets that won't stay on the mattress), it's outta there. Replace it with comfy stuff so you can sleep your best.

    Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed, Target

    I know that almost goes without saying, but it's too important not to be said! If you know the struggle of fitted sheets that just won't stay put, one BuzzFeeder swears by a certain set of sheets from Target's Threshold line; they're $44.99 (available in sizes twin–king, including twin XL).

    20. If you sleep with a partner, consider swapping your huge duvet for two twin comforters (and top sheets, if you're the top-sheet type) to end your cover quarrels once and for all.

    hay.dk

    It's a common thing in Switzerland, apparently. If you want to try it, you can get a couple solid-color twin-size comforters on Amazon for $19.99 each.

    (According to the National Sleep Foundation, one of the best things you can do to sleep better with a partner is get the biggest size bed possible, but that's neither cheap nor easy!)

    21. Prove to your partner that they snore with this app that tracks (and records) snoring, then figure out a strategy that will help both of you sleep better.

    snorelab.com

    It's available on the Apple App Store or Google Play. And read more snore tips for relationships.

    22. Keep an evening gratitude journal where you write down (by hand!) at least one thing you're grateful for in that moment.

    HappyDappyBits / Etsy

    My therapist got me started on it two years ago — just hand-writing five things I'm grateful for every night right before bed, starting each sentence with "I'm grateful that/for..." I swear it helps me sleep better, or at least fall asleep faster, because it helps replace that anxious chatter that used to keep me awake with pleasant, positive feelings.

    It reminds me that my day was actually pretty good, and on the best days, it lets me re-live and truly appreciate all the awesomeness in my life. (And it doesn't even have to be about the events of your day! Feel free to list anything you're grateful for, like how soft your sheets are, or that your favorite sports team won its last game.)

    This gratitude journal's available from ShersScriptShop on Etsy for $10.95.

    23. Masturbate or have sex.

    HBO

    Those endorphins can help you relax and sleep better. If you're in the market for a vibrator, you can check out a top-selling, well-reviewed one on Amazon for $34.95. Or shop around: here are some of the best vibrators you can buy online and best places to buy sex toys online. (Or, skip the toys and just use your hands!)

    24. Try sipping a tea made with valerian, an herbal supplement that many people swear helps them relax and actually doze off.

    Traditional Medicinals / instagram.com, Traditional Medicinals / instagram.com

    Promising review: "This tea works exactly as advertised. Sometimes I will lie in bed for hours because I can't shut my brain off enough to fall asleep. When I drink a cup of this before bed, I fall asleep and stay asleep all through the night! Steep the tea as directed for the best results: for 10-15 minutes, in a cup covered to keep the steam from escaping. This will give you the most of the valerian root goodness! I feel like it takes me a full 30-60 minutes after drinking this tea for me to fall asleep, so give yourself time to steep the tea and drink it. Valerian root can be bitter, but this tea is blended with other herbs to make the taste is quite pleasant. The results are worth every penny." —The Degamos

    A box of 16 teabags is $4.34 on Amazon.

    25. Or consider taking a small dose of melatonin, a different supplement that can help support sleep.

    Olly Nutrition / instagram.com

    Along with melatonin, these gummies contain l-thenanine, chamomile, and lemon balm, which, with their combined powers, can help boost your natural sleep hormones and help you feel relaxed. BTW, some Amazon reviewers report their gummies arriving melted, so if you live somewhere hot, consider finding these at a local store, instead.

    Promising review: "I've tried other sleep products like the sleep drinks and other gummies but I keep coming back for these! They've worked the best out of any of the others I've tried! I fall asleep fast and stay asleep for the whole night. I also wake up feeling great! No hangover feeling at all!" —Jaime Arnold

    Get a jar of 50 gummies from Amazon for $12.88 (also available in two larger sizes).

    Learn more about the link between melatonin and sleep at the National Sleep Foundation.

    26. You can also try a simple yoga routine to stretch out your body and help you focus on your breath.

    BuzzFeed / youtube.com

    Follow a full relaxing routine from BuzzFeed on Youtube. The only sorta challenging one here is bow, which you can totally skip or modify if you're a yoga beginner.

    27. And on the nights when nothing seems to work, find a cozy place outside your bed (and ideally, your bedroom) to retreat to when you have trouble sleeping.

    BBC

    When you struggle to fall asleep or wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, it's best to get up and do something relaxing for a bit (reading a book, sipping tea, or sitting with your pet, if they'll be calm with you) until you feel tired again. Keep the vibe super cozy, and the lights really dim. And, yeah, avoid your phone. Then try and go back to bed.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

    BuzzFeed

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Shopping Newsletter
     

    Find great products and the best-money saving deals around, delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form