Posted by Nicole on February 20
Usually when you hear the word “hygiene,” you think about how often you take a shower or brush your teeth. But how is your sleep hygiene?
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene has nothing to do with cleanliness. “Hygiene” is actually a broader term than that, even though we usually use it in that context.
Hygiene actually just refers to any choices you make to stay healthy. Restful sleep is essential to health. So the decisions you make about your sleep environment as well as your habits together comprise your sleep hygiene.
Following are some tips to improve your sleep hygiene and enjoy better rest.
Sleep Hygiene Environment Tips
- Ensure the lighting in your bedroom is comfortable. Most people sleep best in dark conditions. If you have a nightlight, make sure it is not blue-toned. Can’t get your room pitch black, even though you want to? Try wearing a sleeping mask.
- Speaking of blue light, shut off your television, computer or mobile screens before you try to sleep.
- Get noise levels under control. Sleep in silence if you prefer it. Don’t like silence, or can’t manage it? White noise works great for a lot of people.
- How is the temperature in your bedroom? Try and keep it in a comfortable range.
- If your mattress and pillow are not comfortable and ergonomic, replace them.
- Have a habit of anxiously checking the clock when you’re supposed to be sleeping? Take it out of your bedroom if possible.
Sleep Hygiene Behavioral Tips
- Stick with a strict, predictable routine for sleeping. Wake up each day at the same time if you can, and go to bed each night at the same time as well. Resist the urge to change this schedule on weekends.
- Use your bed only for sleeping so that you do not associate it with activities that you do while you are awake.
- Do not eat a big meal close to going to bed. Also, avoid foods which give you heartburn.
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol in the evening or nighttime. In fact, avoid drinking too much liquid of any kind before bed altogether.
- Do something to relax before you go to bed. Get your mind off your troubles if you can.
- Work out on a regular basis.
- Like taking naps? Experiment with different nap schedules and also try cutting out naps altogether. Some people do well with napping. But for others, naps can interfere with restful sleep at night.
- Discover when your sleep “windows” open. Each of us has times when it is easier for us to fall asleep. Learn when yours are so you can go to bed at a time which is conducive to nodding off.
One last thing you can consider to improve your sleep hygiene is to eat a nutritious diet and try adding in a natural, healthy supplement which helps support restful slumber. Check back in with us again soon for more helpful sleep tips on our blog!