Many people these days complain about not sleeping properly. You hear them talk about how they’re awake by 2 a.m wondering when they will fall asleep. Or maybe the person facing the problem is you, maybe sometimes you wake up ready to start your day but it’s just 3 a.m so now you have to toss and turn till maybe 6 am making you start your day on a groggy note.
If you’re in any of these conditions, it might be time to consider your sleep hygiene and how your habits might be stopping you from getting the sleep you need to function.
Sleep hygiene refers to the habits you have adapted that relate to your sleep. Good sleep hygiene is important for other aspects of your life, it affects your physical, emotional and mental health. A lot of things will affect how you sleep: your behaviour during the day, evening routine, food and drink choices, etc.
That said, here are some tips that will help improve your sleep:
Creating and keeping a consistent bedtime routine and sleep schedule.
A relaxing routine is important to your sleep. It’ll help you unwind and a consistent routine will help your body recognize that it is bedtime when you start the routine. Always start about 30 – 60 minutes before you sleep. Some ideas for your routine include: taking a warm shower, meditating, reading a physical book copy, and listening to soothing music.
Also, try to go to bed at the same time every day, this helps your body reinforce its sleep cycle and also reduces daytime sleepiness.
Avoid electronic devices.
Electronic devices like your phone and tablet emit blue light that reduces the melatonin levels in your body melatonin is a chemical that controls the sleep/wake cycle of your body and when it’s reduced, it can become difficult to fall asleep.
Also, try and silence the phone so that the notifications don’t interrupt your sleep.
Some 30 minutes of aerobics per day can greatly improve your quality of sleep and overall health and if you can exercise outside, do that. Exposure to natural light is known to regulate the sleep cycle.
Just make sure you avoid exercising within one hour or two of your bedtime as this can increase your energy levels and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Manage stress before going to bed.
Sometimes overthinking and stressing about the next day can keep you awake at night so you need to deal with some of your worries as best as you can.
You can write them down before going to bed, if you have a lot to do the next day you can create a to-do list so you can get it out of your mind. You can also try meditation to calm your mind.
Good sleep hygiene is important to your overall health and productivity so try as much as you can to get your 7 – 8 hours of sleep so you can operate at your best.