Essential Tips for Sleep Hygiene
You may have heard the term sleep hygiene before. This is the term that is used to describe ways that you can improve the quality of your sleep. The definition of sleep hygiene is " a number of different practices and habits required to have good sleep quality to support full alertness during the daytime"
Why does Sleep Hygiene Matter?
We can have coffee, tea or even other stimulants to help jumpstart our working day, but getting a full night of sleep is by far the best option for ensuring optimal physical and mental health. Sleep hygiene can help to improve our productivity and our overall quality of life, and everyone can benefit from having better sleep habits.
If you get too much or too little sleep, or you sleep is constantly being interrupted, then you will find that you are more likely to suffer from fatigue, stress and even high blood pressure. The good news is that if you can improve your current habits then you will be at a lower risk of suffering from such problems
Top Tips for Better Sleep Hygiene
Consistency is Key
Aim to go to bed at the same time each night. If you can keep your bedtime to a consistent period within about a 20 minute range, even on weekends, this will help you to sleep better. Aim to wake up at a similar time each day as well. You will be more likely to feel well rested when you get up.
Reduce your Stimulant Use
It can be hard to do, but avoid drinking anything caffeinated after 2PM in the afternoon. In addition, avoid alcohol and cigarettes before bed. Drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime is likely to make your sleep fitful and leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
Don't Use Electronics In Bed
The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and other display devices reduces the serotonin production of your brain and makes you feel more alert. If you can power off those devices, or at the very least use a blue light filter in the evening, then you will find that your body can start producing melatonin at the right time, and you will sleep better.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
It's better to keep your bedroom cool rather than have it too warm. Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees are better for helping you to doze off.
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Keep Bedroom for Bedtime
Sometimes, such as when you're in a hotel room, you need to work or relax in your bedroom. At home you should avoid doing that. Keep daytime activities for the living room and only go into the bedroom when it's time for bed. This will help you to associate the bedroom with sleep.
Avoid heavy meals too close to bedtime. Stick to healthy dinners with some lean meat or fish that will help you to avoid late-night snacks. If you really are feeling the urge to snack then look for high carbohydrate snacks such as crackers or toast that will trigger the release of serotonin so that it is easier to sleep.
Work out Early
Aim to get your workouts out of the way at least three hours before bedtime. Exercise energises you, and if you can work out earlier in the day you will have more energy for the rest of the day. Evening exercise leaves you overstimulated and struggling to sleep.