We all know that good sleep is paramount to good health. Getting good sleep is beyond having a good mattress.
Sleep hygiene is the practice of good behavioural and environmental sleep habits that can help you get a better night’s sleep. What you do during the day affects the quality of sleep you will get at night. Good sleep hygiene includes exercising and adopting a properly-balanced eating roster.
The Benefits of Good Sleep Hygiene
When the sleep is great, you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Good health can help improve your overall health which includes mental, physical and emotional health.
Some other benefits include:
- Sharper memory
- Improved immune system
- Enhanced muscle repair
- Increased energy levels
The question now remains, how do we improve sleep hygiene? Here are some tips to help you improve your sleep hygiene.
Get at least 15-30 mins of exercise daily, this can help you fall asleep faster. Beyond that, physical activity can help you decrease the number of times you wake up at night. It does not have to be tedious; the exercise can be as simple as jogging in the morning. It is important to avoid vigorous exercise one to two hours before bed because it can raise your heart rate making it more difficult to fall asleep.
Limit Daytime Sleep
While you can take naps between 5-20 minutes, when your nap is more than 20 minutes and occur multiple times a day, it can be detrimental to your sleep at night. Naps taken too late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at normal hours. Naps longer than 20 minutes can cause “sleep inertia,” which is the feeling of grogginess or disorientation after waking up. This feeling can last anywhere from two to four hours, making that nap feel like a big mistake.
Avoid Stimulants before Bedtime
If you are having issues sleeping, avoid coffee or alcohol during bedtime. Caffeine can make it difficult for you to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up several times during the night. Alcohol on the other hand can make you sleepy at first but you will find yourself waking up earlier than expected. It is best to avoid stimulants 4-6 hours before bed.
Create a Sleep-friendly Environment
Your bedroom should be a place that encourages you to sleep. It is best to create a comfortable sleep environment. The best temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for adults. You can adjust the temperature to what feels best for you and your body, but colder temperatures are better for sleep.
Another factor to put in place is the light. The darker the room the better it is.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule is not just great for your health, it is also good for your overall health. Sleep irregularity can result in difficulty falling asleep, lower energy levels during the day, and stress. Having a consistent sleep schedule can help you stay on track; you can create one by setting your alarm clock to remind you when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake up.
Resist the Midnight Munchies
It’s easy to munch on something light before going to bed, this could sound sweet at the moment but it could affect your sleep quality and lead to weight gain, insomnia and sometimes nightmares. It is advisable to eat three or four hours before bedtime.
There is nothing fun about tossing and turning all night due to anxious thoughts. This type of anxiety can lead to an endless cycle of insufficient sleep. If you experience sleep anxiety regularly, try meditating before bed. Meditation can help you stay calm; it can improve your overall sleep quality.
You can try some Yoga; this will help you stay calm and sleep better.
BAD SLEEP HYGIENE
Bad sleep hygiene is the practice of bad sleeping habits that affect one’s ability to have a good night sleep. Inadequate sleep hygiene is considered a sleep disorder that can be harmful to your health. Below are some examples of bad sleep hygiene:
- Frequent naps during the day and into the night.
- Exposure to inadequate lighting right before bed.
- Going to bed and waking up at inconsistent times.
Poor sleep hygiene can lead to sleep deprivation, low energy level, trouble concentrating and frequent headaches.
Good sleep hygiene is beneficial to your health. The next time you wake up from a poor night’s sleep, evaluate your actions the day before. Did you snooze your alarm multiple times? Did you take frequent naps during the day? The best way to get a good night’s sleep will look different for everyone. Experiment with what sleep habits benefit you the most and find out what works for you.
It is also important that you have a good sleep environment, the day is stressful and we all rely on our bedroom to give us the right comfort. Make sure you have a mattress that aligns with your body to help you sleep well, a fluffy mattress and soft bedding to help you ease off the stress and enjoy a great night’s rest.