“Early to bed, early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Do you know what good sleep hygiene is? Healthy sleep is vital for both physical and mental health, productivity and well-being. Most people have a habitual evening ritual that helps them calm down and relax before bed. Some don’t mind a bite to eat or a glass of wine; others read a book, use social media, watch TV or take a hot shower.
But do you know that everything that is done before going to bed affects its quality? There is even a special term “sleep hygiene” – a set of healthy habits that will help improve the ability to fall asleep and get enough sleep. So, if you want to sleep well, then you should learn the simple rules of sleep hygiene and follow them every day before going to bed.
Why Poor Sleep Hygiene Should Be Avoid?
Poor sleep hygiene is very harmful to health. Sleep disturbances and too much sleep can indicate the development of inflammatory diseases. According to scientists, lack of sleep leads to obesity, increased blood sugar and, the development of type 2 diabetes, a decrease in the protective functions of the body, the risk of premature death.
In addition, sleep significantly affects the immune system, hematopoiesis, the production of sex hormones and growth hormones, and the microflora in the intestine. So, it is imperative to focus on your sleep hygiene and lead a healthy and prolonged life. Good sleep hygiene will make a world of difference in your life.
Sleep Hygiene Tips for Your Bedroom Routine
Good sleep is essential for everyone, regardless of age or health condition. To help you sleep well, we will share the following proven sleep hygiene tips to add to your bedtime routine.
- Create a consistent sleep pattern
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. Calculate the time to fall asleep based on the fact that you need at least 7 hours of sleep. If you can’t get enough sleep on weekdays, then you don’t need to sleep much longer than usual on weekends, no more than two extra hours. Otherwise, there is a risk of disrupting your usual rhythms
- Set the alarm to remind you when it’s time for bed
Yes, right before bed. Many people have found it easier to understand with the help of an alarm signal that it is time to sleep.
- Choose your sleep
If you need to work or prepare for an important event, an exam, or a speech, do not sacrifice sleep. Review your daily routine and remove or reduce, without detriment to yourself, part of the planned tasks.
Your bed shouldn’t be associated with work, reading, or watching programs. The side effect of this can be insomnia or restless sleep and the absence of a deep sleep phase.
Another important point is your back. When we recline while reading, our back is in a static position for a long time, which can later lead to headaches and back pain.
- Set a bedtime action plan
Doing the same bedtime steps day after day, including things like putting on your pyjamas and brushing your teeth, in the same sequence can reinforce the signal in your mind that it’s time to sleep.
- Treat yourself to a relaxing hour before bed.
An hour of relaxation, an hour of rest, improves your sleep quality. In the first half of the hour, you can think about tomorrow’s plans. The second – take a warm shower. In one study, it was found that taking a bath before bed improves the quality of sleep, especially in the elderly.
- Keep the room comfortably cool temperature
Ventilate the room well before going to bed. Fresh air helps you fall asleep quickly. Moreover, sleeping in a stuffy room can later turn into a headache. It has been proven that sleep quality is better for those who sleep with open windows and doors. When air circulation is created, the level of carbon dioxide in the air decreases, from which sleep becomes more calm and sound.
- Dim the lights and put away your gadgets
Limit exposure to bright lights in the evening. Put away electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed. Blue light from tablets, laptops and smartphones interferes with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin, an important hormone for sleep.
- Do not drink alcohol.
Especially in the evening. Alcohol has a sedative effect, and many associates it with a drug that helps you sleep better. It really makes it easier to fall asleep from it, but sleep becomes intermittent, with frequent awakenings. This causes the active production of the somatotropin hormone, which is responsible for restoring the body.
- Don’t exercise before bed
“It is better to exclude exercises three hours before bedtime. Otherwise, overexcitation from sports will not help you fall asleep. True, activity during the day is very important; without it, there can also be problems with going to bed.
Do not eat at night, but do not go to bed hungry
Eating before bed, especially heavy, high-calorie foods, is a bad idea; it will be more difficult to fall asleep. But you should not go to bed hungry either – this can interfere with falling asleep and lead to awakenings at night. The best option is to eat a light snack shortly before bedtime. Some recommendations are:
- eat nutritious food at the end of the day;
- eat more leafy green vegetables in general;
- short and intense sports exercises help reduce stress levels and therefore food cravings;
- Don’t think about food in terms of limitations – it helps you take care of yourself, not “cheat the system.”
Caffeine in coffee and tea is avoided at least six hours before bedtime. But here, it all depends on individual sensitivity to the substance – you may stop drinking tonic drinks earlier.
Let’s Sum Up
Sleep hygiene is a preventive measure; taking it daily in the evenings will improve not only sleep but also health indicators that depend on it. Most likely, you will do without therapeutic measures in case of sleep disturbance. This is why creating and maintaining a good bedtime routine is essential. If you want more bedtime relaxation, we have the perfect guided meditation for blissful sleep.
Good sleep and good health!