Observing proper sleep hygiene is the best way to guarantee that you get adequate sleep. Maintaining strong sleep hygiene means inaugurating routines and a bedroom environment that fosters consistent uninterrupted sleep. Retaining a regular schedule, establishing healthy habits during the day, having a relaxing pre-bed routine, and ensuring your bedroom is comfortable and free of noise, among other disruptions, all contribute to ideal sleep hygiene.
Your sleeping position and the quality of your mattress can also affect the quality of your sleep. Health.com suggests that having a mattress that suits your sleeping position can help promote better sleep. Everyone can modify their sleep hygiene with practices that fit their needs by harnessing positive habits that will make it easier to sleep throughout the night and wake up feeling well-rested.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to the behaviors and practices that are conducive for better sleep using behavioral interventions. In addition to facilitating restful sleep, these practices help the body and mind stay alert during the day.
Why is it Essential to Observe Proper Sleep Hygiene
Quality sleep is necessary for optimal physical and mental health, enhancing productivity and overall quality of life. This means that everyone from children to adults benefit from better sleep and sleep hygiene plays a significant role in helping to achieve that goal.
Research indicates that developing healthy sleep habits is a central part of health. Formulating beneficial and sustainable routines can make healthy habits feel automatic, establishing a continuous positive reinforcement process.
Sleep hygiene comprises environmental factors and habits that serve an individual’s long-term interests to pave the way for high-quality sleep and better health. Observing proper sleep hygiene is also vital for counteracting the severe problems associated with insufficient sleep.
How Can You Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
1. By Sticking to Your Sleep Schedule
It is crucial to set aside enough hours in your day for sleep. Doctors recommend that adults should have at least eight hours of sleep every night. You can maintain your sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, since consistency helps reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
Having a lot on your mind can make it hard to initiate sleep; therefore, it’s important to resolve your concerns before going to bed. If you experience difficulty falling asleep within 20minutes, try leaving your bedroom and doing something that would help you relax.
Stress management and relaxation techniques such as meditation, light reading, and listening to soothing music can help ease your anxiety, making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep throughout the night.
2. By Augmenting Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Apart from helping you keep fit, exercising daily also promotes quality sleep. However, you should avoid exercising too close to your bedtime. Adequate exposure to sunlight during the day also helps you sleep better at night.
3. By Limiting Naps During the Day
Daytime naps often interfere with nighttime sleep. If you need to take a nap, try to limit yourself to 30 minutes and make sure that you don’t take a nap late in the day. However, for individuals who work at night, taking a nap late in the day would help them make up for their sleep debt.
4. By Contemplating What You Eat and Drink
Never go to bed stuffed or hungry because the discomfort will keep you up for hours. Avoid having large or heavy meals too close to your bedtime; instead, have a light meal and give yourself at least two hours for digestion to occur.
Consuming anything with caffeine, nicotine, and drinking alcohol is also ill-advised. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants, and their effects take hours to wear off, making it almost impossible to initiate sleep. Although alcohol might act as a sedative, it often ends up disrupting your sleep later in the night.
5. By Ensuring Your Bedroom is a Restful Environment
Your bedroom should always be cool, dark, and quiet for it to be ideal for sleeping. Prolonged exposure to light and the use of light-emitting devices also makes it challenging to initiate sleep, so you should keep your electronics away before bedtime. It would be best to consider a fan and a mattress designed for the best cool sleeping to help turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment.
Test Out Different Adjustments to Find What Helps You Sleep Better
Even though the basic concept of sleep hygiene applies to everyone, what ideal sleep hygiene is can often vary from one person to the next. For this reason, you should try out different adjustments to find the one that leads to better sleep hygiene. Nevertheless, improving your sleep hygiene won’t resolve long-lasting or severe sleep disorders, so it’s essential to know when to consult your doctor.