Help Yourself With These Easy Sleep Hygiene Tips
Sleep takes up a large chunk of our time and affects many aspects of life, so it makes sense to have good sleep hygiene. However, sometimes it’s hard because of factors of life and your environment.
Most people sleep an average of 229,961 hours in their lifetime. It isn’t just because they can, but because our mind and body need it so we can function properly as human begins.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
First, what exactly is sleep hygiene? It seems weird to use the word hygiene because with it you think cleanliness and showering. But, it also makes sense due to the fact you are trying to have a clean, good sleep and sleep schedule.
Sleep hygiene is focusing on sleep and your sleeping habits. Making sure you are getting good restful sleep. Not just a longer sleep, but ensuring you are actually getting quality sleep.
Why is it important?
Getting a good sleep is a crucial part of life. This is because as humans we have to have sleep to be able to function properly.
Without good, solid rest you can attract a lot of things that will make things harder for you in your day to day life. Such as:
- Tired all the time
- Low mood
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Less active, more couch potato
- Increased chances of depression
- Health issues, such as strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
These are just a few of the adverse effects of lack of sleep. There are many more, but all in all, it affects many, if not all, aspects of your life.
But I am sleeping
On the contrary, there may be times, or people, who are getting a lot of sleep, but still feel tired. However, you can get lots of hours of sleep, but if those hours aren’t truly restful you aren’t getting an actual good sleep.
This is where sleep hygiene comes in because it is making sure you get the amount of sleep you need, but it is also making sure that you are also getting restful sleep as well.
Any disturbances in your sleep results in not being properly rested and therefore resulting bad sleep hygiene. Some examples of this are:
- Troubles falling asleep, but once asleep you sleep fine
- Wake up a few times during the night
- Fall asleep fine but wake up a few hours later and can’t get back to sleep
- Tossing and turning a lot in your sleep
- Dreaming a lot and not being in the rem cycle of sleep (the deep sleep)
Again, this is where sleep hygiene comes in. This is where you are taking actions to help you get that good deep, restful sleep, so you feel refreshed the next day.
Personally, I find the biggest thing I struggle with when I don’t get a good sleep is my ambition and mood. As well as, really affecting my anxiety and depression levels. And this is true for a lot of people.
A lack of sleep gives you less energy making it really hard to do anything or even want to do anything. So then you don’t do anything and then you’re stressed because things aren’t getting done. Or you do your stuff, but do it reluctantly so it’s not as good as it could be or takes a lot longer, as well as putting you in a bad mood.
In summary, there are many different types of not sleeping, however, all of them lead to some sort of adverse affect on your life.
Continuing on, having favourable sleep habits is a central part of having good sleep hygiene.
Sleep habits are things that you do to help aid in your sleeping journey. This can be anything that helps you get that long, deep sleep allowing you to wake up the next day feeling like you actually got a decent sleep.
There is a big range of things that you can do to help you sleep better, from exercising to a comfy pillow. A lot of it depends on the person, but here are a few common ideas to get you started:
- No caffeine 2 hours before bedtime
- No smartphones, tv or tablets an hour before bed
- Have a hot, relaxing bath
- Eating something light before crawling in
- Your bedroom is for sleep only – no food or reading, etc.
Like I said above, these are just some generic ideas to help you get started on your sleep habits. Check out this article for more!
On the other hand, let’s dive into some very key habits that you should start. First though, know that good sleep hygiene doesn’t come from just the things you do right before bed. Things you do during the day actually greatly affect your sleep at night.
A Sleep Schedule
First off, setting up a sleep schedule for yourself is a great starting point! Set times that you need to or want to go to bed by, and when you want to get up. And make sure you stick to it, even on weekends.
This will help set your body’s internal clock so it knows that okay it’s this time it means to settle down and go to sleep. Then the same when you wake, knowing that it is time to start the day.
Winding down before bed seems kind of obvious right, but it does look different for everyone.
For me, I have to read or listen to music before bed, in bed. I can’t just crawl into bed and go to sleep. And yes, I know this is like the opposite of what many articles and people say, but like I said before it is developing things that will help you sleep better.
Moreover, it is important to set a routine for yourself. So you can wind down before bed from the hustle and bustle of the day. As well as, tricking your body and brain because when the routine becomes habits you will signal to your mind and body that okay, it’s time to slow down for bed.
Obviously, don’t workout right before bed because that will only get your heart rate up. But, exercising at some point during the day will give off energy leaving you more tired for bed.
In addition, it will make you feel better and release chemicals that help you feel better. This will cause those chemicals and energy to not build up and leave you not feeling tired when you go to bed.
Comfort and Happy Place
Lastly, having a comfortable place to sleep is essential to having a good sleep. You want to be happy to crawl into your bed and sleep comfortably.
So set up your bedroom to be a happy, cozy place. Somewhere where you look forward to going. Make sure it allows you to relax and slow down, no matter what you do in it. Just make it a place that makes it easy to fall asleep and stay asleep.
There are many, many more sleep habits that you can start to help you get valuable rest.
Don’t forget that some things will work for others, but may not work for you. So you may have to do some trial and error until you find what’s right for you.
In conclusion, just make sure you are doing what you can to make sure you have good sleep hygiene. Set yourself up for success by using some of these habits or finding more.
Even after the first restful night of sleep you will see how big a difference it can make.
What are some things you do before going to sleep?