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10 Sleep Hygiene Tips to Help You Get a Good Night's Rest

by Angeline T. 06 Jun 2024

Sleep Hygiene

¬† ¬† ¬†Our general health and emotional state largely depend on sleep. But some cannot sleep well because of various reasons like anxiety, bad sleep behaviors, or illnesses. This is where sleep hygiene tips become essential ‚Äď the practices and habits that are good for high-quality sleep and getting enough sleep.

Below are Ten Sleep Hygiene Tips so that you may have a good night’s sleep:

1. Maintain a regular bedtime schedule: One of the sleep hygiene tips is to attempt to sleep and get up at the same time every day including weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock, improving sleep quality.


     Sleep experts suggest adhering to a routine of bed and wake times will have a positive impact on sleep quality and quantity. It sets a circadian clock, or rather a biological clock, and maintains health. People who have a fixed schedule for sleep and awakening do not develop sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. Sufficient sleep boosts mood, concentration, focus, and immunity. Getting into a routine before bed helps the body recognize signs that it is time to start preparing for sleep.

Sleep tracker

2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine: Before going to bed, create a serene atmosphere such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or engaging in relaxation practices like deep breathing and meditation is one of the sleep hygiene tips. This will let your body know that it is time to wind down and get ready for sleep.


     To make it easy to sleep at night, stop using screens one hour before sleep. Screens give off a kind of light that can stop the body from making sleep hormones. Instead, read a book or listen to soft music. Do things to rest, like deep breaths, calming the mind, or slowly tightening and then relaxing your muscles. A warm bath with Epsom salts or oils can also help get your body ready to sleep by making it cooler.

3. Optimize your bedroom environment for sleep: The ideal conditions for a good night’s sleep are darkness, silence, and a comfortable temperature. If needed, wear earplugs, install blackout curtains, or use a white noise machine. These are some sleep hygiene tips to follow. 


     Improve your sleep area by making it dark, quiet, and comfy. Keep light out with dark curtains or blinds. Use eye masks and earplugs to block noise. If still noisy, use earplugs or play music to make you fall asleep. Keep the room between 60-67 degrees for better sleep. Make sure the room is cozy and has good air.

4. Reduce screen time before bed: Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep and wake cycles, but it can be affected by the blue light from screens. One of the sleep hygiene tips is to stop using electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers at least an hour before bedtime.


     Research shows that reducing screen time before bed can significantly impact sleep quality due to blue light emitted from screens, which suppresses melatonin production. To combat this, experts recommend stopping electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, engage in relaxing activities like reading, yoga, or mindfulness meditation. This can lead to faster sleep, improved mood, energy levels, and cognitive function, and overall well-being.

How to reduce screen time

5. Limit caffeine and large meals before bed: Having caffeinated drinks or heavy spicy food prior to going to bed can make it difficult for you to sleep. One of the sleep hygiene tips is in case you are hungry, make do with a light snack and decaf beverages in the evening hours. 


     Coffee, tea, and soda have a drug called caffeine. It can stay in you for a long time after you drink it, and make it hard to sleep. If you drink less caffeine at night, your body can have time to get rid of it before bed. Instead of having more coffee at night, pick decaf drinks or herbal teas without caffeine.


     Eating a lot before bed can mess up your sleep. Hot or heavy food can upset your belly and keep you awake. It is smarter to eat small, light meals at night. If you're hungry before bed, pick a light snack like yogurt, fruit, or a few nuts. This can fill you up without making you too full.

6. Regular physical exercise: One of the sleep hygiene tips is you can fall asleep quicker and enjoy a more deep sleep if you frequently involve yourself in physical activities. Most days of the week, engage in moderate exercises for at least 30 minutes but do not do any strenuous workouts near bedtime.


     People who move around a lot during the week tend to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply than those who do not move much. Working out not only makes you tired, helping you drift off easier, but it also makes your sleep better by increasing deep and dream sleep stages.

To sleep well after exercising take note of these sleep hygiene tips, aim for at least 30 minutes of easy to fair activity each day. Yet, avoid tough workouts right before bed. Try to finish your exercise about 2 to 3 hours before sleep time.

7. Control stress and anxiety: Too much stress or anxiety may hinder relaxation as well as falling asleep. Here are some sleep hygiene tips to relax your mind before sleeping try out stress-relieving activities such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, and journaling.


     Yoga is a gentle, powerful technique for relieving stress and pressure from the body. You can develop peace that will help you sleep by moving into varied poses while focusing on your breath. 

     Another significant means of managing anxiety and stress is mindfulness meditation. Watching your thoughts and emotions without any criticism, but just staying in the present moment creates calmness and presence that helps one relax as they prepare to sleep. One of the sleep hygiene tips is it would be good if you could spare some minutes each night to practice mindfulness meditation; it may improve your sleeping.

     Journaling is a fantastic way to release pent-up emotions and fears before bed. Once you put your thoughts on paper, all these things are extracted from the mind thereby creating clearness within oneself. One of the sleep hygiene tips is to just write down whatever worries or anxieties you might have before bedtime, and see how it helps you unwind ultimately releasing stress when going to bed.

8. Don’t take a nap late in the evening: Short naps can be useful at times to boost spirits and attentiveness but ensure they are not taken late in the day as this might make falling asleep difficult at night.


     Research shows that a 20- to 30-minute nap improves mood, concentration, and performance. It also helps block daytime slowness and increases power output. However, sleeping late can disrupt your evening sleep making it difficult to fall asleep at night.

One of the sleep hygiene tips is to aim to take an afternoon nap before 3pm to ensure your few days of sleep are worthwhile. By doing so, you can reap the rejuvenating power without affecting your night’s sleep. If you start to feel drowsy during the day, consider going for a walk or drinking coffee while you stretch to stay alert before bed.

9. Control alcohol and smoking usage: Both of these materials have the potential to interfere with your sleep cycle leading to low-quality rest hence it is advisable that you do not take them when bedtime is around the corner.


     One of the sleep hygiene tips to reduce alcohol and smoking intake and improve sleep, set limits on alcohol and smoking consumption, find alternative coping mechanisms, create a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid triggers, and seek help if needed. Set moderate alcohol and smoking intake, avoid excessive drinking or smoking, and find healthier ways to cope with emotions. Establish a calming bedtime routine, identify triggers, and seek help from healthcare professionals or support groups if needed.

Limit your alcohol and smoking usage

10. Consult with an expert if necessary: Should there be persistent difficulties in sleeping even after applying the above strategies, it would be better if one consulted with a doctor who deals with such matters so as to find out whether there might be any hidden sleep disorders causing the problem or not getting enough relaxation due to some other reasons.


     There are specialists whom you can consult if you are suffering from insomnia so that they can tell you the cause and come up with a treatment plan which is best suited for you. At some point, you might be required to complete a sleep diary, take a sleep test or talk about any other condition that could affect your ability to sleep well such as medication or illnesses. Besides, a sleep specialist can give suggestions in terms of giving a cure or treatment in order to enhance sleep quality and well-being, including advice on CBT-I, medicines, and changes in behaviors that may affect sleep quali

Conclusion

     Sleep Hygiene tips include keeping regular bedtime, having a prescribed nighttime ritual, providing a special sleep environment, avoiding bright devices close to bedtime, avoiding stimulants like coffee and heavy meals late at night, getting physical exercise, dealing with stress and anxiety, avoiding daytime napping, eliminating alcohol and tobacco, and consulting with professionals if necessary. These sleep hygiene tips assist in controlling the coordination of the body, aligning and synchronizing the body’s natural rhythm, and stopping the manufacture of Melatonin which is responsible for sleep. Also, try not to consume coffee and large meals before going to bed, as it can considerably disrupt your regular sleep; instead, choose small meals for dinner, and exercise more. Sometimes a person should consult a specialist if there are problems with sleep performance to diagnose sleep disorders or other factors that affect the quality of sleep.


     Including these sleep hygiene tips in your day-to-day practice should do you a lot of good because you are guaranteed a good sleep and wake up fully prepared for the activities of the day. It is proven and well understood now that getting an adequate amount of sound sleep is very crucial, therefore one should always try their level best to establish proper lifestyle habits that will support them in getting the best night sleep that they desire.

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