Lets face it. If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, you’ll regret it the next day. So what can you do? Enjoy these 10 Tips for Better Sleep Hygiene!
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Good sleep is something that eludes many people, and they may not even be aware of what is causing their problem. Sleep hygiene is a set of good habits and routines that you can follow in order to make sure you are getting the best night’s sleep possible, while feeling alert and energized during the daytime.
Why Should I Care About Sleep Hygiene?
Getting too much, too little, or interrupted sleep can eventually lead to negative health issues such as high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, inflammation, and stress. Some studies indicate that lack of proper sleep may dramatically increase your risk for irreversible diseases down the road such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Not to mention, you won’t be thinking as clearly, or able to take on your important tasks with the energy they deserve. Don’t fall for the hype; anyone promoting long hours of work with little time for sleep is playing with fire.
What Signs Should I Look For?
Waking up multiple times throughout the night, taking a long time to fall asleep, waking up feeling exhausted, and daytime grogginess are some clear indicators that you may not be getting the amount of high-quality REM sleep you need.
What Can I Do to Improve?
1. Keep It Cool
Studies indicate that a bedroom temperature of approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for falling asleep and staying asleep. Too much heat will make it extremely difficult to feel relaxed and comfortable.
2. Pick A Time and Stick with It
Our bodies operate best when following a pattern. If the pattern is disrupted, then it causes stress, as the body tries to adapt to the new time. This is why partying late and sleeping in on weekends is a terrible idea. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and you will have a much easier time dozing off.
3. Make Your Bedroom A Sleep Sanctuary
Leave the electronics outside the bedroom, and avoid reading in bed or looking at your phone. Otherwise you will subconsciously associate your bed with these mentally stimulating activities instead of sleeping. Add blackout curtains to your windows to block out all possible light, especially if you sleep during daylight hours. Invest in some eye shades, a cheap and effective tool to help protect your eyes from any unwanted light. If you live in a noisy area, buy some ear plugs, or a white noise machine to help create some soothing sounds.
4. Eliminate Blue Light
Blue light mimics the daytime spectrum of sunlight around noon. It tricks your body into thinking its still daytime, and stops the production of natural melatonin in the brain. Not to mention the devices this light comes from are designed to stimulate your mind to work harder and causes stress while focusing on work emails or social media notifications. Try some blue light sunglasses if you need to use your phone or computer before bedtime.
5. Ditch the Chemicals
Coffee, chocolate, soda, tea, and even alcohol can stop you from getting the kind of deep sleep your body requires. All of these products act to stimulate your body, and should be avoided several hours before bedtime. Even though alcohol may help you fall asleep, it will disrupt your sleep during the second half of the night while your body processes increasing the amount of times you wake up during the night, and decreasing the quality of sleep you get. For all the smokers out there, avoid nicotine before bed.
6. Get Fit For Sleep
Just 10 minutes a day of exercise may help dramatically improve your chances of getting those Z’s. Make sure to avoid working out too hard before bedtime, as it may cause you to get a second wind of energy.
7. Don’t Stay In Bed Awake
If you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed and do something relaxing to help ease yourself back into the sack. Reading, listening to soothing music, meditation are all good options.
8. Be Careful with the Naps
If you need a quick snooze, make sure its early in the day or you won’t want to sleep at your regular time. Also try to limit it to 30 minutes, or you risk going into a deep sleep, and waking up more tired than when you started.
9. Don’t Pig Out Late
Your body can’t properly digest your food and sleep at the same time. And if you’ve got a big burger in your stomach while you’re laying down, it’s going to be a long night. So if you must eat, make it light food that won’t cause indigestion, no later than two hours before your bedtime.
10. Hydrate For Sleep
If you are dehydrated, it will cause your nasal passages and throat to dry out, and set you up to start snoring, and wake up everyone in the room.