Knowing the best sleep hygiene techniques for you to follow is needed for that much-needed rest. After a long day of hard work, isn’t it awesome to finally pull fresh blankets over your head and doze off to dreamland? Good idea, right?
Unfortunately, not many people can sleep that easily. If you often find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night, your sleep hygiene may be responsible for this.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
When we talk about sleep hygiene, this refers to the healthy sleep habits that a person has. It’s the behaviors you practice before going to bed. Good sleep hygiene is crucial for good sleep and overall mental and physical health. Sleep habits like keeping your room dark and having a regular sleep schedule are great examples of good sleep hygiene. Improving these habits will help decrease it takes to fall asleep and keep you asleep .
9 Best Sleep Hygiene Techniques to Follow
If you have trouble sleeping, you can take several steps to address this and help you improve your sleep quality . That is what sleep hygiene is all about, to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here are great tips to improve your night’s rest.
1. Know how much sleep you need
The average hours of sleep for adults are seven to nine hours. Keeping a regular sleeping schedule every day, even on weekends, reinforces your body’s sleep cycle. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule reduces sleepiness during the daytime.
If you follow through with setting the same bedtime and wake time each day, your body will begin to anticipate when you are about to go to sleep, and it will prepare you for it.
2. Keep your room at a cool temperature
Our body naturally cools down before it falls asleep. Keeping your room cold signals your body that it’s time to sleep. It will also help you doze off faster compared to a room that isn’t cold enough. Keep your room around 60F and 67F or 15.6-19.4C as the optimal temperature for sleeping. Having a comfortable mattress, linens, and pillows are also helpful for sleeping faster.
3. Make sure that your room is a quiet space for sleeping
A quiet room is a space where you can sleep without any interruptions. Keep your room free from sounds that could disturb your sleep. It might be tempting to read, watch TV, talk on the phone, and do other activities while you’re comfortable in bed but, additional noise in the bedroom will only distract your sleeping time.
Make sure to turn off the lights in your bedroom too. Understand that your body associates darkness with nighttime. So no lights, no lava lamps, or even LED lights. If you don’t want total darkness in your room, consider investing in black-out curtains or eye masks so you can sleep well.
4. Exercise helps
Regular exercise improves your progress through the stages of sleep. However, avoid too much exercising before going to bed. It’s because endorphins are released after exercise, making it difficult to sleep. A 30-minute aerobic exercise each day can help improve not only your sleep time but general health as well.
5. Create a bedtime routine
Your body can recognize a pattern as long as you condition yourself to do that routine daily. To sleep well, you must follow a routine before bedtime. You should relax 30 to 60 minutes before sleeping. During this time, activities like meditating, taking a bath, or showering helps. Taking a hot bath an hour or two hours before bed cools down your body temperature, making you sleep in return. Reading a book or simply listening to soothing music are simple habits but are some of the best sleep hygiene techniques to follow.
6. Avoid napping during the day
We all want a nice nap in the afternoon, especially if you have been up all night. However, if you like to fall asleep at night without disturbances, you must avoid napping during the daytime!
If you need to take one, make sure to keep it around 30 minutes. Anything longer than 30 minutes of napping can interfere with your body’s internal clock. It will only make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
7. Know your eating and drinking habits
A large meal before sleeping is a big no-no but don’t go to bed hungry either. A heavy meal consumed before sleeping causes gas and indigestion. Avoid taking too much liquid before 8 pm, so you don’t have to keep waking up to pee at night. Do not consume caffeine before sleeping as well. If you want to drink coffee or any drink that has caffeine, do it 8 hours before your bedtime. Drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it also increases your chances of waking up at night.
8. Sleep only when you’re tired
If you are not tired, avoid staying in bed. Try doing a relaxing activity until you feel tired, then go to sleep. Reading a book until you are tired enough to go to bed is a good idea. Simple yoga exercises for sleeping can also help you get the snooze you need.
9. Manage your stress
Whatever problems you’re thinking about, make sure that you manage them before you go to bed. Thinking about the things that are weighing you down will only keep you awake at night. How do you manage your stress? Write down your thoughts, make a list and prioritize what you need to do.
According to studies, a weighted blanket helps with insomnia and anxiety. It also provides similar benefits as deep pressure therapy. You can also try meditation before going to bed to help calm your thoughts and anxiety.
The key to a successful sleeping routine is consistency. Sleep hygiene is all about healthy sleeping habits that you must do regularly. Keep in mind that your daily activities and practices can affect your mental health and sleep quality. Sticking to a regular sleeping schedule and following the best sleep hygiene techniques will surely make a difference.
If you have done everything that you can to get a good night’s rest but are still unable to sleep well, be sure to check in with a doctor. Consulting with a physician will help you get the diagnosis and intervention needed.