Want to sleep better? Find out more about the importance of sleep hygiene and a few habits for better sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. However, many people struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders that can make it difficult to get the restful and restorative sleep they need. One way to improve sleep quality is through the practice of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to the habits and routines that people can establish to promote better sleep. Let’s get to it.
Why Sleep Hygiene Is Important? – 7 Tips for Better Sleep
1. Set a Sleep Schedule
One of the most important aspects of sleep hygiene is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps to regulate the body’s internal clock and makes it easier to fall asleep and wake up at the appropriate times. Avoiding napping during the day can help to ensure that the body is tired when it’s time to go to bed at night.
2. Comfortable Sleep Environment
Another important aspect of sleep hygiene is creating a comfortable sleep environment. This includes keeping the bedroom dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. It’s also important to make sure that the bed is comfortable, with a supportive mattress, cotton linen, and pillows. Additionally, it’s a good idea to limit exposure to electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the bedroom, as the blue light emitted by these devices can suppress melatonin production and make it harder to fall asleep.
3. Reduce Stress
One of the most important factors to consider when trying to improve sleep hygiene is stress and relaxation. Stress can play a major role in insomnia, and it’s important to find ways to relax and unwind before bed. This can include activities such as reading, listening to calming music, or ASMR or practicing yoga or meditation. Aromatherapy and essential oils can also help relieve stress. Additionally, it’s important to avoid stimulating activities and discussions before bedtime as it can make it harder to fall asleep.
4. Eating Before Bedtime
Another important aspect of sleep hygiene is avoiding certain foods and beverages before bedtime. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are all stimulants that can make it harder to fall asleep, and if you avoid them close to bedtime, you can prevent indigestion and other discomforts that can make it harder to fall asleep. Additionally, it’s a good idea to avoid heavy or spicy meals close to bedtime, as they can cause indigestion and discomfort that can make it harder to fall asleep.
5. Exercise Improves Sleep
It’s also important to note that sleep hygiene is not only about the night-time routine but also about the day-time habits. Regular physical activity is a great way to promote better sleep. Regular exercise can help to tire out the body and make it easier to fall asleep at night. Additionally, spending time outside during the day can help to regulate the body’s internal clock by exposing it to natural light.
6. Natural Light
Another aspect of daytime habits to consider is exposure to natural light. Natural light helps to regulate the body’s internal clock and can make it easier to fall asleep at night. Additionally, it can be helpful to get some sunlight during the day to help boost energy levels and improve mood.
7. Sounds for Sleeping
White noise machines can be used to create a more peaceful sleep environment by blocking out external noise. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or ASMR, is another helpful tool to make you sleep faster. A 2015 study showed that 82% of participants watch ASMR videos to help them sleep and there are even more studies showing this. Find more about ASMR here. Additionally, using an eye mask can help to create a dark and peaceful sleep environment, which is essential for the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Earplugs can also help.
Other Ways for Better Sleep Hygiene
It’s important to be patient and persistent when developing new sleep habits, as it may take some time for the body to adjust to the changes. In addition to the habits and routines mentioned above, there are other tools and techniques that can be used to improve sleep hygiene.
- For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that can be used to address insomnia and other sleep disorders. This type of therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to sleep problems. It can also teach individuals how to relax and create a more conducive sleep environment.
- Another technique that can be used to improve sleep hygiene is sleep restriction therapy. This involves limiting the amount of time spent in bed to the amount of time actually spent asleep. By gradually increasing the amount of time spent in bed, individuals can train their bodies to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer.
- It’s important to note that sleep hygiene is not a one-time solution, but a habit that needs to be developed over time. Some people may find it helpful to keep a sleep diary to track their sleep patterns and identify any habits or routines that may be affecting their sleep.
In summary, sleep hygiene is an important aspect of overall health and well-being and it can be improved through a variety of techniques and tools. By developing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, reducing stress and promoting relaxation, avoiding certain foods and beverages before bedtime, incorporating regular physical activity and natural light exposure, and utilizing techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and sleep restriction therapy, individuals can improve their sleep hygiene and get the restful and restorative sleep they need.
Remember, it’s important to be consistent and persistent in developing new sleep habits, and to be patient as your body adjusts. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, it may be a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance. Taking care of your sleep hygiene can be a simple yet powerful step in improving your overall health and well-being.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about simple habits to improve sleep hygiene and enjoy a better night’s sleep, please share this article so more people can use this info. Let us know in the comments below what habit or change has helped you sleep better and what not. Nighty, nighty!
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