Most people understand the idea of personal hygiene. For example, washing your hands to prevent diseases from entering spreading. But what is ‘sleep hygiene’? Simply put, sleep hygiene refers to developing good habits that help you get to sleep. Just like developing the habit of washing your hands before eating. This article will give 14 sleep hygiene tips that we hope you will adapt as habits to help make your sleep easier.
What exactly is sleep hygiene?
‘Sleep hygiene’ means habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep. Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years or even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle and attitude.
What are sleep hygiene factors?
Potential sleep hygiene factors include bedtime, nighttime rituals, and disruptions to one’s sleep. These are typically represented by simple guidelines meant to effectively promote a good night’s rest. There are sleep hygiene tips for this factors in the following paragraph.
What is poor sleep hygiene?
Having a hard time falling asleep, experiencing frequent sleep disturbances, and suffering daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. An overall lack of consistency in sleep quantity or quality can also be a symptom of poor sleep hygiene.
How can I improve my sleep hygiene? What are sleep hygiene tips?
1. Limit sleep time
Limiting bedtime consolidates sleep by increasing wakefulness and reducing bedtime. That means, don’t spend too much time in bed, and spend most of it sleeping.
This can help increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. Spending too much time in bed can lead to fragmented sleep and light sleep.
So no matter how long you sleep, get up at you’re regular wake up time the next day.
2. Don’t use an illuminated screen before bed
At least not right before bed. This includes computers and phone screens. These electronic screens emit blue light, and light of this wavelength interferes with the release of Melatonin, a hormone that helps promote sleep.
Therefore, prolonged exposure to electronic products before going to bed can also interfere with sleep.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise could helps people to reduce the difficulty of falling asleep and help promote deep.
So regular exercise can help people fall asleep faster and feel better on waking.
A routine is a vital part of maintaining your fitness, so try to establish a regular habit.
At the same time, try to avoid exercising 3 hours before bed. This can lead to problems when it comes to winding down for the night.
4. Ensure a quiet sleep environment
A comfortable, quiet sleeping environment can help reduce the possibility of awakening at night.
Carpeting or a rug, curtains, and closed doors may help to ensure that your room is quiet and you aren’t disturbed during the night.
The effect of noise is often underestimated. Scientists performed a study in which they monitored the sleep of individuals that lived near an airport with an EEG machine.
Although most participants said they were not aware of the planes overhead, the EEG showed that the brain awakened every time an airplane flew over them.
Which led to the feeling tired the next day. So do your best to maintain a quiet environment.
5. Keep your bedroom at the right temperature
Another often overlooked part of sleep environment is temperature. Often people make due with bedrooms that are too cold or too hot.
Some scientists suggest that a cold environment may help sleep, but not too cold: a temperature between 15.6-20℃ is probably best.
6. Eat regularly
Hunger can negatively affect sleep. Eating a small carbohydrate rich snack before bed can help you fall asleep.
Avoid, however, greasy foods or other foods you find difficult to digest.
7. Avoid too much hydration before bed
Good hydration is important, but it can be a sleep stopper. Too much liquid before bed may lead to frequent urination, especially for older men.
Nothing stops you from getting too bed better than not being in bed, after all. Approximately one standard glass of water (or other beverage) during the 4 hours before going to bed should be enough.
8. Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeinated beverages and foods (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) can cause people difficulty falling to sleep, as we all know.
But even if you get to sleep, they can cause waking during the night, as well as light sleep.
Everyone has a different sensitivity to caffeine. For those who are not very sensitive, you can choose to drink a little coffee in the morning or afternoon to combat poor sleep or natural fatigue.
But for those who do not often drink coffee or tea, it might be best to be cautious.
9. Avoid drinking alcohol, especially at night
Although a drink before bed might seem to help you get to sleep, it will cause problems staying asleep.
Alcohol has a relatively short half-life, which can lead to rebound awakening and insomnia, and feeling of dehydration can also prompt waking during the night.
10. Quit smoking
In addition to all the other reasons not to smoke, it can negatively affect sleep.
Nicotine is a stimulant, which causes difficulty sleeping. Additionally, smoking cause respiratory issues, which also lead to irregular sleep problems.
If you’re a heavy smoker and you want to quit, be aware that nicotine withdrawal might hinder your sleep. Seek help and other resources for how best to quite smoking.
11. Don’t bring the problem to the bed
We all have our own worries. Unfortunately, they can often follow us to bed. Some scientists argue that the brain does not fall asleep all at once, but in stages.
The first region of the brain that falls asleep is used in concentration, logical thinking, and judgement.
If you are busy mulling over problems from your day, this can stop this region from falling asleep, and thus prevent every subsequent region from falling asleep as well.
12. Don’t toss and turn waiting to fall asleep
Don’t toss and turn waiting to fall asleep. Instead, turn on the light, leave the bedroom, and do something else until you’re tired.
Do something relaxing and unexciting, like reading. Go to bed only when you feel sleepy.
13. Don’t watch the clock
Put your alarm clock somewhere out of reach. Under your bed or anywhere you can’t see.
Watching the seconds, minutes, hours of possible sleep tick away will only cause frustration, anger and worry; interfering with sleep and accidentally promoting insomnia.
14. Avoid naps during the day
Staying awake during the day can help people sleep better at night. If you need a pick me up, it’s best take no more than an hour. Half an hour is enough.
If you have sleep problems, try out some (or all) of these tips. Of course, this is only the most basic sleep advice, you can also try ShutEye, an all in one sleep app. ShutEye brings a wide variety of tools to help you fall asleep and understand your sleep cycles from a scientific perspective.
Everyone’s sleep is different, so try to figure out what works best for you. If you’ve already tried all of these sleep hygiene tips, or you’re worried about your sleep problems, please contact a doctor as soon as you can.