There are few things more exciting than moving into a new apartment. Unpacking boxes, decorating your apartment, buying new (or used) furniture, getting to know your neighbors—it’s a whirlwind. But with that buzz can come an unwelcome side effect: you can’t sleep in your new home.

There’s even a scientific term for when you can’t sleep in your new home: it’s known as the “first-night effect,” according to a study published in Current Biology. Basically, humans don’t sleep well in unfamiliar settings because parts of our brains are constantly monitoring our surroundings, and we sleep only lightly until we know we are safe in our new environments.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to calm your mind and encourage good rest in your new apartment home.

Basic Sleep and Relaxation Tips

  • Stick with a Routine: You probably already have a pre-bed routine, and now isn’t the time to tweak it. Be sure that one of the first boxes you unpack contains everything you need for your normal bedtime ritual including familiar bedsheets and your favorite pajamas.
  • Wind Down: If you find you can’t sleep in your new home, make a plan to go to bed 30 minutes early. Dim the lights, put away the electronics and engage in an activity that relaxes and calms your mind—it could be writing in a journal, meditating, sipping chamomile tea, or reading a book.
  • Block Potential Distractions: It takes time to learn the quirks of a new place. What are those creaks and squeaks? What kind of light will be coming in the windows each morning? Until you know exactly what to expect, it’s a great idea plan ahead for any potential sleep disruptors. On the first day in your new apartment, install at least temporary window treatments to block out any street lights and morning sunbeams, and set up your smart speaker so you’ll have some white noise those first couple of nights.

How Room Décor Affects Sleep

When first setting up your apartment or studio, create a smart room layout that calms the mind and encourages good rest. Here are a few design tips that’ll help if you can’t sleep in your new home:

  • Choose calming, warm tones and use low wattage bulbs to soothe your mind and encourage relaxation.
  • Use plush carpets and upholstered furniture to help soundproof your apartment and absorb any noise. Place your headboard on a wall that isn’t shared with the neighbor or directly under a window, if possible.
  • Limit electronics to living areas only, and keep the bedroom as a sanctuary for sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom has quality air and good airflow by replacing the air filters, using a fan, or adding a humidifier if the air is too dry.
  • Maintain a clutter-free and organized apartment—or at least bedroom—to improve your sleep quality. Clutter is a major trigger for restless minds at bedtime.

Can Feng Shui Help if You Can’t Sleep in Your New Home?

Incorporating feng shui principles into your bedroom layout is believed to encourage a positive energy flow that facilitates restful sleep.

For example, feng shui experts recommend choosing an upholstered or solid wood headboard rather than a metal headboard or a headboard with multiple panels/shelves. Also, the bed should be placed against a solid wall, but still be accessible from both sides to allow for proper energy flow. Another recommendation is to add a touch of nature to the bedroom. This could be in the form of a potted plant, bowl of smooth river rocks, or even a framed photograph of a calming landscape.

One big feng shui no-no: Mirrors in the bedroom. Because mirrors reflect light, they are considered active or “yang” energy, which is not restful. And a mirror facing a bed is believed to deplete your energy while you’re sleeping.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep with Southern Management

At Southern Management, we work hard to make sure your home is your sanctuary. Our team members are friendly, responsive, and dedicated to helping our residents have the best possible living (and sleeping) experience.

If you can’t sleep in your current apartment, consider making a new home with Southern Management. With over 25,000 apartments in Maryland and Virginia, Southern Management is committed to finding you an apartment where you can rest easy and get plenty of shuteye.

Contact our team to learn more today!