Sleep hygiene is nothing but an all-inclusive term that describes the lifestyle habits and choices that improve sleep. To be precise the norms, behaviours and rituals that follow around sleep are known as sleep hygiene.
To help you understand here is an example. Following a regular sleep schedule and avoiding late night caffeine are great sleep hygiene practices. Again, sleeping in on the weekends to make up for the lost sleep and regularly pulling-in all-nighters are examples of poor sleep hygiene.
Importance of Sleep Hygiene
The good sleep hygiene makes sure that you enjoy higher-quality, restful sleep for sufficient amount of time every night. The bad sleep hygiene, on the other hand, leads to inadequate and poor-quality sleep.
Your body relies upon the sleep for –
Proper Immune Function
Emotional Stability and
Memory and Learning
It is thus not complicated to see how improving your sleep by following sleep hygiene behaviours and practices can enhance every aspect of life from the work productivity to the success of the interpersonal relationships.
Effective Tips to Improve Sleep Hygiene
Here are certain suggestions to improve your sleep hygiene.
Set Your Bedtime – Do you stay awake at night to binge watch your favourite show on Netflix? Or do you think you relax by scrolling down your Facebook account? You are definitely not alone if you do that. But it is the primary change that you ned to make. You should set an early bedtime and stick to it. You should start by allowing at least 8 hours of sleep and see how that continues. If you sleep for 8 hours each night for 2 weeks and wake up before your alarm, then you know you are practising good sleep hygiene.
Cut the Stimulants – Your caffeine consumption is one of the toughest habits to curb. Most people enjoy the afternoon coffee in order to drive away fatigue. But anything after 2 o’clock in the afternoon is considered bad sleep hygiene. In the same way, drinking alcohol and smoking before sleeping can give fitful sleep along with groggy mornings. Till at least 3 hours before bed, you should stay away from cigarettes or any alcoholic drinks.
Regulate Your Diet – What you eat and when you eat are both important for your sleep hygiene. Eating the wrong foods at night or eating too late during the day can both be the recipe for sleepless night.
Eat foods that contain B vitamins (whole grains, fish, dark green veggies and legumes), melatonin (bananas, pineapple, tart cherries, oats), tryptophan (dairy products, nuts, seeds, eggs) and other sleep-inducing components
Avoid foods that inhibit sleep like coffee, alcohol, red meat, candy, hot sauce and similar foods
Eat smaller meals in the evening
Do not eat too close to bedtime
Reduce your fluid intake in the evening
Start to Exercise – If you are not working out regularly then this is the time that you begin. That simple act of energy exertion will make you tired and make you sleep faster. Try to exercise early as exercising before bed can make you feel more energised.
Turn Off the Devices – The smartphones, tablets, television, and computer monitors – all are responsible for emitting blue light that decreases the production of serotonin within the brain and enhances the alert level in us. Using a filter of blue light in the evening and switching down the devices will help the body to produce melatonin appropriately at the right time so that your sleep can overcome you just like it is expected.
Added to that, if you are a heavy snorer and if you have sleep apnea you can consult with your doctor for effective snoring solutions that can help you to reduce your snoring and sleep well at night.
Maintaining a good sleep hygiene is extremely important as it enables your body and mind to achieve optimum rest so that you wake up well rejuvenated every morning and can lead a healthy and happy life by taking the world in your stride.