The habits, practices, and environment that revolve around your sleep life affect the quality of your sleep and, invariably, the quality of your health. The combination of these habits and your environment is what is referred to as sleep hygiene.
This article will take time to detail specific sleep hygiene tips that will ensure you enjoy quality sleep and health. However, we will first look at why your sleep hygiene is essential, according to scientific research.
Why is Sleep Hygiene Important
Your sleep hygiene contributes to how long and how well your body will rest, which will affect your daytime productivity, cognition, ability to carry out routine tasks, and even your sexual life.
The far-reaching consequences of sleep on our lives make it foolhardy not to pay attention to the activities and environment that directly contribute to the quality of our sleep.
The exciting and remarkable thing about most sleep hygiene practices is that they can be improved at no cost. It means you don't have to spend at all or so much to improve the course of your entire life.
Common Sleep Hygiene Tips for Quality Sleep
1. Have a nightly routine
Your preparation for bed can determine how easily you sleep. There is no ‘standardised’ routine but ensure what you do is tailored to suit you.
2. Maintain a consistent routine
By doing the same thing every night, such as putting on pyjamas and brushing your teeth, you will reinforce to your body that it is time to sleep. This will help you fall asleep faster.
3. Reduce the bright lights
Avoid bright lights because they interfere with the body's production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.
4. Try to focus on relaxing
Rather than aiming to fall asleep, try to relax instead. Various relaxation techniques can help you prepare for bedtime, such as mindfulness, breathing techniques, and meditation.
5. Turn off electronics
Set aside 30-60 minutes for device-free time before bed. Tablets, phones, and laptops produce blue light, which disrupts sleep and may reduce melatonin production. They also cause mental stimulation that you may find difficult to turn off.
6. Stay consistent with a sleep schedule
Try to sleep at the same time every night and get up each morning at a fixed time. You can strengthen your body's sleep cycle (your internal clock) by doing this.
This can help you fall asleep and wake up easier every day. It may also be beneficial to stick to a consistent schedule to reduce daytime sleepiness. While picking a fixed bedtime, ensure you can get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
7. Exercise daily
If you commit to exercising every day for 30 minutes, you'll feel better and sleep better. You might even benefit more from exercising outside because exposure to natural light helps you fall asleep.
You don't have to go outdoors if you can't, there's nothing to worry about. The benefits of regular indoor exercise extend to sleeping better, too. However, it is essential to note that your training shouldn't be too close to your bedtime. It may cause a rise in energy levels and body temperature, making falling asleep difficult.
8. Reduce your consumption of caffeine
Due to its stimulating properties, caffeine can keep you awake even when you'd prefer to sleep. It is, therefore, best that you reduce your caffeine intake to morning hours alone if you must take caffeinated beverages.
Caffeine's effects can last for up to 7 hours after consumption. You may end up staying awake and alert for longer than you would like because of your afternoon cup of coffee.
You should also remember that people are different when it comes to caffeine tolerance. It may be possible for some people to consume until mid-afternoon, whereas others may have to cut back much earlier to sleep well.
9. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol may make you fall asleep more quickly initially, but the effect wears off, disrupting sleep in the middle of the night. Though it make me tough at the weekends, it’s a good idea to limit alcohol consumption and avoid it later in the evening.
10. Don't go to bed unless you're tired
If you're not tired, stay out of bed as much as possible. Do a relaxing activity until you become fatigued, then head to bed. When you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed, get up.
When you cannot fall asleep, it may cause you to become frustrated, which can prolong your stay up. After getting out of bed, do something that helps you relax, such as reading on the couch until you feel tired.
11. Limit or avoid napping
Napping during the day may make it harder to fall asleep later and multiply the chances that you'll wake up in the middle of the night. If you must nap, however, ensure that:
- You keep it to a maximum of 30 minutes.
- You avoid taking a nap late in the afternoon.
Sleep patterns may be affected more by napping among older people than those of less advanced ages.
12. Make sure your sleeping environment promotes comfortable sleep
A dark, cool, quiet room may make it easier for you to sleep. The perfect sleeping temperature for most people is 60°F to 67°F (15.6°C to 19.4°C). You should also ensure that your mattress, pillow, and bed linens are comfortable. You will be more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep if you're satisfied.
Sleeping with earplugs could help you sleep without being disturbed if you're a light sleeper or have noisy neighbours. Also, you may want to use blackout curtains or an eye mask if your bedroom gets too bright.
The importance of healthy sleep hygiene is apparent to you now, and we have also provided you with tips that can immediately revolutionise your sleep life. However, when it comes to your sleep environment and materials, you must select materials tailor-made to deliver comfort to you. Why not try our Cooler Weighted Blanket today, it’s scientifically designed to promote deeper and more restful sleep.