Sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene

Do you often feel tired and run down? Are you having a hard time getting to sleep at night? If so, you may need to improve your sleep hygiene. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to all sorts of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for improving your sleep hygiene and getting the rest that you need!

Why is sleep hygiene important?

As we age, sleep quality and quantity are paramount. Obtaining a good night’s sleep is critical for one’s physical and mental health, as well as productivity and overall quality of life. Everyone, from infants to elders, can profit from improved sleep habits.

According to research, establishing good habits is an important component of health. Developing permanent and advantageous routines makes healthy behaviors seem almost instinctive, providing a continuous stream of positive reinforcement. On the other side, even though negative outcomes result from bad habits, they can become entrenched.

Fortunately, we have a remarkable capacity to mold our habits in such a way that they serve our long-term goals. Creating an atmosphere and a set of routines that help us achieve our objectives can be quite beneficial.

Environment and daily behaviors can both play a role in determining how well you sleep. It might help you get better sleep and live healthier.

Improving sleep hygiene has a little cost and almost no risk, making it an important element of a public health approach to combat the serious issues of insufficient sleep and insomnia in the United States.

Tips to improve your sleep

If you are not getting enough sleep, there are several things you can do during the day as well as before going to bed to improve your sleep.

That is what good sleep hygiene is all about: establishing a variety of healthy behaviors to help you have a restful night’s sleep.

Let’s take a closer look at 10 ways to improve your sleep hygiene so you may get better sleep.

Exercise regularly

poor sleep hygiene

Aerobic exercise for as little as 30 minutes each day can help you get a better night’s sleep and enhance your overall health. Furthermore, if you have the possibility to work outside, this may improve the advantages even more, since natural light aids in regulating your sleep cycle.

However, if you can’t go outside, don’t worry. Even moderate exercise inside may help you sleep better.

Avoid exercising for 1-2 hours after your bedtime. This may boost your energy levels and body temperature, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

If you want to do something later in the day, consider stretching or yoga.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine — and stick with it

A soothing bedtime ritual aids in the relaxation process so that you are ready to sleep. A regular routine helps your body realize it’s time for bed when you begin the activity. This might assist you to fall asleep faster.

The ideal time to get started is about 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep.

Unless it’s a gadget that emits blue light, your routine might include anything that makes you feel most comfortable. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a warm bath or shower. The water is not only soothing in the moment, but the drop in your body temperature as you cool down may make you tired.
  • Try some mild stretches to assist your muscles to relax and releasing tension.
  • Spend a few minutes resting and tuning up your mind and body.
  • While you focus on your breathing, try relaxing with some soothing music.
  • Spend some time reading a book, but avoid using electronic reading devices as much as possible.

Avoid things that are stressful or highly stimulating, such as emotional discussions or job-related activities.

Limit napping — or avoid it if you can

disrupt sleep

When you consume caffeine, it has effects that can last anywhere from 3 to 7 hours. This implies that your afternoon cup of coffee might keep you up and alert much longer than you desire.

Although it’s usually beneficial to avoid caffeine consumption throughout the day, keep in mind that everyone has a different level of tolerance for it.

Some people may be able to stretch their intake to midafternoon, while others may require a much earlier cutoff time in order to fall asleep easily.

The less caffeine you consume, the more susceptible you are to its influence.

Use your bed only for sleep and sex

When you have a cozy bed, it’s tempting to use it for reading, working, talking on the phone, watching TV, or other things.

However, it’s important to use your bed for sleep and sex only. This helps strengthen your brain’s association between your bed and sleep, making it easier to fall asleep.

Even books may disturb your sleep if they keep your mind active. Before going to bed, consider reading on the sofa instead of in bed.

Manage stress before going to bed

trouble sleeping

You may find it hard to fall asleep if you’re thinking about things you’re concerned about. To assist you to sleep better:

  • To assist erase them from your thoughts, write them down before going to sleep.
  • If your to-do list is stressing you out, write it down as well. Then prioritize what you need to accomplish the next day and the following week, and try to unwind.
  • A weighted blanket may help with anxiety and sleeplessness, according to studies, and it might provide benefits comparable to deep pressure treatment.
  • Before going to sleep, practice meditation to help you relax.

Turn off electronic devices before you go to sleep

Your phone emits blue light, which can lower the amount of melatonin in your body.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep/wake cycles. When your melatonin levels drop, it might be more difficult to fall asleep.

Blue devices can also keep you awake, distracting your brain. This may make it more difficult to fall asleep.

You might believe that avoiding looking at your phone near bedtime is enough, but having your phone close by may disrupt your sleep even if you’re unaware of it.

The light that comes on in the middle of the night, buzzing notifications, and message alerts can all jar you out of your slumber.

Keep a consistent sleep schedule

healthy sleep wake cycle

Try to go to sleep and get up at roughly the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps your body’s sleep cycle (your internal clock) become established, making it simpler to fall asleep and wake up each day.

Staying on track may also assist you to fall asleep faster during the day.

Make sure that the bedtime you select allows you to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Limit your caffeine intake

After you ingest caffeine, its aftereffects can last 3 to 7 hours. This indicates that your afternoon cup of coffee may keep you awake and attentive for considerably longer than you desire.

Although it’s typically preferable to restrict your caffeine intake to the morning hours, everyone’s tolerance to caffeine is different.

Some individuals may be able to extend their intake to mid-afternoon, while others might need to restrict themselves considerably earlier in order to fall asleep.

The less coffee you drink, the more sensitive you become to its effects.

Go to bed only when you’re tired

sleep deprivation

If you’re not tired, don’t lie in bed tossing and turning. Instead, attempt a soothing activity until you start to feel weary, then go to sleep.

If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed, get up. Being unable to sleep may make you irritable, which will keep you awake even longer.

Slowly roll out of bed and do anything to help you relax while you’re still in your pajamas, such as reading on the couch until you’re exhausted enough to go back to sleep.

Make your sleep environment work for you

sleep disorders

A cool, dark, quiet room may help you fall asleep and stay asleep more easily.

The optimal sleeping temperature for most individuals is between 15.6°C and 19.4°C, according to most studies.

It’s also vital to have a comfy mattress, cushions, and bedding. The more comfortable you are, the simpler it is to nod off and sleep.

A decent pair of earplugs may help you sleep without being disturbed if you’re a light sleeper or live near noisy people.

Finally, if your bedroom is overly illuminated, you might wish to consider using blackout drapes or an eye mask to make the darkness in your sleep area as great as possible.

Frequently asked questions

What is considered sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe all of the things you can do to make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. This includes creating an environment that’s conducive to sleep, regulating your caffeine intake, establishing a regular sleep schedule, and more.

What should I do if I can't fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed?

If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed, get up and do something relaxing until you start to feel sleepy. Once you’re feeling drowsy, go back to bed and try again.

Can I drink caffeine before going to bed?

Caffeine should generally be avoided in the hours leading up to the bed, as it can keep you awake. However, everyone’s tolerance is different, so some people may be able to extend their caffeine intake into the later afternoon without difficulty.

Can I use my phone in bed?

You should avoid using your phone in bed, as the light and notifications can disrupt your sleep. Try reading or using another calming activity until you’re ready to sleep.

What should I do if I'm a light sleeper?

If you’re a light sleeper, consider using earplugs or blackout drapes/an eye mask to make your sleep environment as dark and quiet as possible. This will help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Conclusion

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. By following the tips in this article, you can improve your sleep hygiene and get the most out of your slumber. Implementing just a few of these suggestions can make a big difference in how rested you feel when you wake up each morning. Sweet dreams!

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