Outdoor light may disrupt your sleep if you work at night or live near street lights. For maximum darkness, consider installing black out blinds on your windows. Another option is to find a comfortable sleeping mask. Remember that your body needs to know the difference between day and night.
Exercise can increase your body temperature for several hours. This has the same harmful effect as an overheated bedroom. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you can fall asleep sooner when you exercise in the afternoon instead of the evening. The ideal time for physical activity is about six hours before you go to bed.
Caffeine is another important dietary factor. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine indicates that a caffeinated beverage will disturb your sleep if you drink it six hours before going to bed. Remember that caffeine isn't restricted to coffee and soda. Smaller amounts of the substance can be found in candy bars, hot chocolate and black tea.