The term “sleep hygiene” relates to positive and healthy sleep habits that can improve ones ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Common sleeping problems such as insomnia are often caused by poor sleep hygiene habits that have been reinforced over years or even decades!
Today we are going to chat through some simple ways to improve your sleep hygiene and get a better night’s sleep. Having good sleep hygiene makes sure you have consistency in your sleeping patterns thus letting you enjoy higher quality, more restful sleep – so read on!
As we know, caffeine is a stimulant that can pep you up and give you lots of energy. Avoiding caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee 4-6 hours before bedtime can improve your night’s sleep. This also goes for alcohol which while it may sometime help us fall asleep faster, does disrupt sleep in the latter part of the night as your body begins to process alcohol.
Ensuring that your room is cool and dark will help induce peaceful and sound sleep. Experts recommend a room from 15°-17°C as optimal for drifting you off to sleep. Use heavy curtains/blinds or an eye mask to block out light. Matresses and pillows should be comfortable and other sleep aids such as earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers and fans can also be used to make your room the optimal place to achieve a solid snooze!
Research has detailed that exercising during the day can lift mood and reduce stress among many other benefits. Exercise strengthens circadian rhythms that promote alertness during the day which helps bring on sleepiness at night. Exercise also triggers increases in body temperature, and the post-exercise drop in temperature helps us fall alseep.
Light from TVs, tablets, smartphones and other devices trick our brains into thinking its daytime which impacts negatively upon sleep. These devices have blue wavelengths which are disruptive at night as they are harder to the brain to process. While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully. Putting devices away two to three hours before bed will ensure the body is ready for sleep.