Good Sleep Hygiene

Woman sleeping

It goes without saying sleep is incredibly important, and most of us probably aren’t getting enough sleep at night.  So you may be wondering, “what’s sleep hygiene?”  Sleep hygiene is essentially different practices and routines you do to help assist you with your sleeping schedule and make sure you have a well-rested night’s sleep.  Whether you realize it or not, there are a ton of factors that come into play and relate to your sleep hygiene.  We’re breaking down some of the most important factors to consider when adapting a good sleep hygiene routine.

Keep a Regular Schedule
The National Sleep Foundation suggests you stick to a regular sleep schedule every night of the week.  Doing so can help your body adapt to a schedule much easier and quicker.  Often times we alter our sleeping schedule, by going to sleep at different times every night which causes our schedule to be skewed.  Try getting on a stricter schedule to help your sleep hygiene increase.  This also means avoiding naps during the day as much as possible.  Again, napping during the day can alter your nighttime sleep schedule

Watch What You Eat/ Drink
Be cautious of what you eat and/or drink too close to the time you go to bed.  Experts suggest avoiding eating a meal that’s too large too close to your bedtime can cause discomfort as you try to get to sleep.  Additionally, it’s suggested not to intake too much caffeine or alcohol too close to bedtime.  Caffeine can keep you up at night, and alcohol is said to affect a solid night’s sleep.

Consider Your Sleep Environment
Many experts have said it’s important to establish your bed for sleep and sleep only.  So avoiding watching too much tv, reading, or other activities in your bed is crucial.  Additionally, it’s important to create a relaxing sleep environment and ritual.  Avoid doing anything that can cause additional stress of emotional frustration too close to bed time.  Also, make sure the space you’re sleeping in is a space that you feel relaxed and comfortable.   A lot of these things go back to having your bed feel like a safe place that’s associated with sleep.  Doing too many other things when you’re in bed can start to cause you to associate the space less with sleep and more with those other activities, leading to unhealthy sleep hygiene.

So we know sleep is important, but since so many of us don’t have a strict sleep hygiene routine surrounded around it, it makes sense our schedules are a bit off (to say the least, right?).  If you’re in a cycle of not being able to sleep as soundly, or as much as you feel like your body needs it’s definitely time to start adapting some of these sleep hygiene suggestions.  Adapting to these habits can help you create a better sleep routine that leaves you feeling more rested and alert during the day.  Who doesn’t want that?

So what do you think of these sleep hygiene suggestions?  Will you be adapting any of them?

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