5 Most Effective Sleep Hygiene Tips
Your nightly routine, your behaviors and your typical actions that are associated with sleep are the basics of what we know as sleep hygiene. This isn’t associated with things like having fresh bed sheets; although they can make bedtime a much more exciting prospect! It is, however, essential, particularly in the modern world with its lively, fast-paced nature that you have good sleep hygiene on your side.
The good news for you out there who are making the less-wise choices and maybe didn’t know is that your erroneous ways can be easily rectified.
These simple changes are an easy win on the road to securing sound slumber, so if you do fall into the category of people who struggle to regularly get good sleep, then these essential, but quick and pain-free pointers will swiftly help with insomnia-related issues.
Introducing and securing good sleep hygiene gives you the chance to ensure that you can consistently enjoy a higher quality of more peaceful sleep that lasts for an effective amount of time every evening.
We’ve outlined five of the most important sleep hygiene tips, and what better time to start following them than now?
Address your bedtime routine
By adopting a stringent set of activities in the hour run-up to bed each night will psychologically train your brain to identify when it’s time for you to hit the hay when it’s actually bedtime.
One of the biggest things in your bedtime routine is being relaxed. Focus on taking it all down a few notches to a point where you can be fully unwound (or as much as possible) so that you can drift off. Some tried and tested ways to secure this are as follows:
- Switch off all tech/electronics
- Soak in a warm bath
- Use deep breathing exercises
- Reading a book under dim light
The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, so if you’re getting less, or in fact, more, then something might not be quite right. This isn’t set in stone, but this is the advised amount to adhere to for healthy living.
If you are going to get the RDA of sleep, then you should avoid bedtime procrastination at night, you should go to bed at the same time, set yourself an alarm for the morning and get out of bed at the same time in the mornings.
Why not try adding a sleep tracker app to visibly see how your sleep is improving as you hone your sleep/wake cycle?
Create the perfect bedroom environment
Creating and enjoying a sleep-inducing haven for a bedroom is definitely one of the best tips we can offer you.
Along with the pointers we highlighted in the previous point, the perfect bedroom environment is best formed by having a temperature that is ideal for falling asleep, which is 18-21 Celsius. Maintaining this range of room temperature allows your body to thermoregulate while you’re asleep.
Alongside a sleep-friendly room temp, is the light levels in your room. By keeping your bedroom dark, you’re helping to signal to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Additionally, darker spaces tend to be cool, so your room won’t exceed temperatures that aid healthier amounts of sleep.
The Sleep Advisor recommend that owning an eye mask and having blackout curtains are two wonderful ways to assist in making the darkness work in your favour too.
Furthermore, if you do happen to get up in the night, perhaps to use the toilet, then skip switching the lights on as this exposure to light can make falling back to sleep all the more difficult.
Slim down your pre-sleep screen time
You wouldn’t be alone if you have a TV in your bedroom. It’s pretty much the norm for people to have one in the lounge and in their bedroom and when you tie this in with all the other tech, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers, there’s suddenly a plethora of screens and artificial light around.
When you are soaking up light from screens, you’re exposed to a blue light that prevents melatonin release in your brain. This means that when your brain should be preparing itself for sleep and a night of rest and recuperation.
What’s more, the content that you’re looking at; whether it be your favourite TV programme or updates on Instagram and Facebook, is constantly stimulating your brain, and this only serves to make things harder when it comes to switching off and falling asleep.
The best advice we can give is to have a cut off point for all electronics at least one hour prior to your bedtime.
Reinforce what your bedroom space is for
Finally, the last tip to take on board is that your bedroom should strictly be reserved for sleep and sex. This is psychologically essential to reaffirming with your brain that your bedroom is not a place for other activities and this will mean that you find getting off to sleep an easier task.
Finding a mattress that fits your needs can be crucial to good quality sleep. It’s also well worth investing in bedding and pillows that will help support your sleep too; after all, you spend a third of our lives sleeping!
Once your body is happy with the environment the mind will follow and vice versa, so hopefully, this advice, along with the other pointers we’ve given you, will help you establish high-quality sleep hygiene and sleep in general.