Never heard of the term sleep hygiene? This is a collection of different habits and rituals that are practiced in order to have a good night’s sleep. Practicing good sleep hygiene makes sure that you are well rested and ready for the next day. Which means that you will be totally alert and productive during the day?
It is also a great way to maintain both your mental and physical health. Taking too long to fall asleep or waking up in the wee hours of the night tossing and turning, trying to get some sleep is a struggle for many but adapting to these habits can turn all that around. Here are some tips for proper sleep hygiene.
Avoid having your favorite cup of caffeine just before going to bed
Caffeine is major constituent of beverage plants like cocoa beans, tea leaves and coffee beans. It falls under a category of drugs called stimulants and their number one aim is to promote alertness. They do so by blocking the chemicals that induce sleep from produced in the brain. This is not how you to be when you slide in between your sheets. It is therefore advisable that you steer clear of that steaming hot cup of coffee or tea just before you to sleep.
Make your bedroom your sleep paradise
The last thing you would want is to be uncomfortable at the only place you expect to fall asleep, your bedroom. Whether we know it or not, we often sleep in an unsuitable environment that is why we find it hard to doze off.
Adjusting your air conditioner to the right temperature is very important. Experts suggest the perfect temperature range to be between 50 to 60 degrees. You may be that person that sleeps with the lamp on. Sadly, this contributes to your difficulties in getting some sleep. Switching off the lights including that lamp is a great way of ensuring that you fall asleep. Look out for any noise or distractions that may disturb your sleep.
How about your bed? Making it comfortable to sleep on will absolutely improve your sleep quality. Having a comfortable and supportive mattress like the Casper mattress will spare you the pain of having back aches in the morning. Surrounding yourself with cozy pillows also acts as a great support for your body while you sleep and gives you that appealing environment which you cannot resist to climb in and slowly doze off.
Have a constant sleep routine
Although many people do not consider it a big deal, going to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday is important. By sticking to a sleep schedule that you strictly follow helps your body’s circadian rhythm to tame your sleep-wake cycle. Using a chemical called melatonin which is greatly influenced by light, your brain knows when to be alert and when to sleep. The chemical is released more at night to make you fall asleep and gradually reduces as the morning unfolds.
Sleeping in during the weekends is always the norm for very many people. While it doesn’t hurt to extend your sleep by an hour or two, staying in bed for the better part of the day will give your body a difficult time to adjust to your intended sleep routine. Remember that our bodies are not like robots that can quickly adapt to a certain way of functioning. We have to train them for some time to adapt to a certain lifestyle for us to see change.
Steer clear of electronic devices when you go to sleep
It cannot be denied that electronic devices have become such a huge part of our lives but if carried along to the bed it ruins our chances of falling asleep. You probably use your Smartphone or laptop when the lights are off. When you do so, the light emitted by them restricts the production of melatonin which makes you sleep. As mentioned earlier, melatonin decreases when there is light. Light from the device alerts the brain to stop producing the chemical therefore, after using them you will be alert which is not supposed to happen since you to be sleeping at that time. Unplugging from technology and take time to unwind before bedtime will improve your sleep quality
Exercise before going to bed
The idea of exercising later in the day has been brushed off by many people. Exercising is associated with the overall increase of the body temperature and accelerated heart rate which is enough to keep you alert and therefore having a hard time falling asleep.
However, recent studies have challenged this misconception. Working out within an hour or two of your sleeping time has been proven to improve your sleep quality by helping you sleep faster. As mentioned before as you exercise, your body temperature increases and it drastically drops afterwards which makes you sleepy. Exercise is also known to decrease feelings of anxiety and depression which is common for people struggling with chronic insomnia.
Normally after working out, you are tired. This increases your sleep duration and your time spent in deep sleep which is the most important phase of sleeping. In simple terms, exercising routinely before bedtime is a great tip for better sleep hygiene.
Truth be told, these tips cannot work on everyone, especially if you are suffering from chronic insomnia. It is recommended that you visit a doctor to give you solutions from a medical perspective. This doesn’t mean that you abandon these strategies, because many doctors will still use them in combination with a couple of therapies to help you sleep comfortably throughout the night.
Taking a quick glance at the term sleep hygiene can be misleading. What comes to your mind is brushing your teeth, wearing cozy pyjamas and sleeping on clean bed sheets and blankets. Although you should not forget to do all that, sleep hygiene has more to it than just that. With tips you can start practicing them until it becomes a habit and you will no doubt sleep better.