Do you find yourself tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep each night? Or waking up in the morning feeling like a zombie due to a restless night of sleep? You can get this under control and greatly improve your sleep quality by paying attention to sleep hygiene.
The average person will spend a third of their life sleeping. And that may sound like a waste of time to you, but it’s absolutely necessary for your survival to do this.
Humans depend on sleep for physical and mental health and for a greater quality of life. Taking control of your sleeping habits is one of the most powerful tools to improve your life.
Read on to find out how sleep hygiene can improve your quality of sleep.
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Contrary to popular belief, sleep hygiene isn’t about making sure you’re squeaky clean before jumping into bed. Sleep hygiene refers to good sleep habits that can improve your sleep.
Hygiene practices, or sleep habits, may change from person to person depending on their needs.
Why Is Good Sleep Hygiene Important?
Everyone has had the experience of trying to function on a bad night of sleep. The importance of getting a good night’s rest cannot be overstated. It is important for our physical and mental wellbeing.
If we wish to be productive, content, and energetic throughout our day, then having a good sleeping habit is important.
Therefore, sleep hygiene is important to ensure that you create a healthy and consistent sleeping habit.
If you’re someone who struggles to fall asleep, has interrupted sleep or bad sleeping patterns, focusing on sleep hygiene can massively benefit you.
Sleep Hygiene Checklist
It may seem like an impossible feat to create good sleeping habits that see you falling into dreamland with ease every evening. However, it is easier to change and control than you think it is.
Check out this list of sleep hygiene tips and tricks to create good sleep habits to improve your sleep.
- Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Could it be that children ‘sleep like babies’ because they get sent to bed and woken up at the same time every day? It’s difficult to apply these same principles to our daily lives. Socializing, work, household duties, and responsibilities often prevent us from creating a consistent ‘bedtime’.
There are some ways that you can be more consistent, though. Having a fixed time you go to sleep is difficult, but you can certainly make a fixed wake-up time. Be consistent with this wake-up time, whether it be a weekend or weekday.
As for bedtimes, try to make sleep a priority. Think about an ideal time to go to bed and try to aim to tuck under the covers around that time whenever possible.
Make these changes gradually and give your body and yourself time to adjust. Forcing yourself to go to sleep early when you feel very awake may just cause you anxiety. Rather, aim for 30 minutes earlier every night for a week and then another 30 minutes the next week, and so on.
- Turn Your Bedroom into Your Ideal Dreamland
Creating an optimum sleep environment based on your needs is very important for getting a good night’s sleep. Of course, the ideal environment is different for everyone. However, there are some things you can think about changing.
Find a mattress, pillow, and beddings that you feel most comfortable with. You’re looking for a sleeping surface that leaves you without pain and bedding that is comforting.
If you’re sensitive to noise, use earplugs. On the other hand, you may like to listen to soft atmospheric sounds such as rain or waves while you sleep.
Try to keep electronics out of your sleeping space. Avoid watching TV in your room or spending a lot of time on your phone in bed.
Regulating the temperature in your room also contributes to a tranquil and comfortable sleeping environment. The perfect temperature is different for everyone, but try to err on the side of cool.
- Create a Soothing Nightly Routine
The time leading up to going to bed can greatly affect the ease of falling asleep and the quality of sleep. Establish a pre-sleep routine that helps to relax and slow you down.
Again, this might be different for everyone. You know what makes you feel relaxed. Maybe it’s reading a book or taking a bath with candles. Try some breathing exercises, dimming your lights, or turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed.
Experiment with different relaxation techniques until you find the one that works best for you. Once you’ve cultivated the ideal routine, stick to it. Give yourself time before bed to wind down with those activities and pre-sleep preparations.
- Adapt Your Daily Habits
The things you eat, drink, and do throughout the day affect your quality of sleep too. By changing, removing, or adding habits to your daily routine, you can improve sleep hygiene.
Try to get a little bit of vitamin D and time in the sun every day. This has a very positive impact on circadian rhythms and encourages improved sleep quality. Or check out this sleep vitamin with melatonin and magnesium to help you sleep.
Incorporating regular physical exercise into your life helps to mentally and physically relieve stress and aids in better sleep.
While a coffee kick might be utterly necessary for the mornings, try to reduce caffeine intake in the afternoon and evenings. The stimulant can keep you awake late into the night.
Try to eat earlier in the evening rather than late at night. Eating dinner late in the night, especially if it’s a rich or big meal, makes it difficult to fall asleep soon after because your body is busy digesting.
Creating a Sleep Hygiene Habit That Works for You
There is no one blanket solution for everyone’s sleep problems. Creating good sleep habits, otherwise known as sleep hygiene, is an intrinsically personal process. You need to identify what helps you to relax, what the best sleeping environment is for you, and how you can change potentially harmful daily habits.
Getting a good night of sleep is imperative for your health. If you’re looking for more ways to create a healthy lifestyle, head over to our site for expert tips on wellness.