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The rituals and behaviours that we all follow when it comes to sleep are known as our “sleep hygiene.” If you want to care for your mind and body properly, then you need to be certain that you’re getting good sleep hygiene. That means ensuring that you don’t stay up all night binge-watching television shows or sleeping in on the weekends when you don’t need to.
If you’re new to the concept of sleep hygiene, don’t worry. There are a lot of simple things that you can do to improve your quality of sleep. Here, we’re going to cover 7 quick sleep hygiene tips that you can use to transform your sleeping patterns for good!
Go to Bed at the Same Time Every Night
Going to bed at the same time every night is crucial to good sleep hygiene. You’ll need to follow a regular sleep schedule that provides plenty of room for you to get the sleep that you need. Rather than just going to bed when you feel tired or doing other little things while you’re in bed, make sure that you’re settling down and closing your eyes at the same time each night.
The right routine will help to teach your body when it’s time to wind down each day. The more you get used to this rhythm, the easier it will be to fall asleep at night and wake up each morning without help.
Keep Your Bedroom Quiet
Your bedroom needs to be kept as quiet as possible. Some people don’t like the idea of laying down to bed in absolute silence, which could mean that it’s a good idea to play some gentle music or white noise. However, for the most part, you’ll want to block out anything that could be a distraction, which includes the sounds of the traffic outside.
Double-glazed windows and machines that generate white noise are both helpful. If you sleep with a partner who snores, then it might be a good idea to invest in some earplugs too – as this can be a serious disruption for some people.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool and Dark
The best temperature for falling asleep is somewhere in the region of low to mid-60 degrees. Having a cool bedroom while you’re sleeping will help to regulate your body temperature, so you’re not woken up by sweating. Additionally, reducing heat will mean that you’re not tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position.
At the same time, blocking out light simply means that you won’t be woken up any earlier than necessary by the sunrise.
Dedicate Your Bed to the Right Things
Having a place that’s dedicated to sleep is crucial for your psychological health. Watching movies or other shows in your bedroom will confuse your brain into thinking that it is for entertainment. On the other hand, if you teach your brain that when you go to your bedroom, you’re going to be sleeping, then you’ll start to feel tired subconsciously as soon as you walk in.
Remember to find the best mattress thickness and pillows you can, as this will make it easier for you to snuggle down to sleep at night too. You won’t want to stay up watching television until you’re exhausted if you know your comfy bed is waiting.
Limit Screen Time
Many people don’t have televisions in their bedrooms anymore today – particularly if they’re aware of the impact that screens can have on their sleep quality. However, you might have a phone that you take with you to bed at night, and that could be making your situation worse too.
Looking at computer or phone screens before you go to bed exposes you to one of the brightest forms of light – similar to the Sun., This confuses your brain into thinking that it’s daytime again, which causes problems with your sleep/wake cycle.
Follow a Routine
We mentioned above that routine is essential in good sleep hygiene. As well as going to bed and waking up at the same time, why not see if you can follow the same set of activities when you’re getting ready for bed each night too? For instance, before you go to bed, turn off all your electronics and take a warm bath.
You can go through a period of deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation while listening to soothing music or consider reading a book by lamplight.
Limit Daytime Naps
Finally, no matter how exhausted you might feel throughout the day, it’s best to keep naps to a minimum. Although naps can be a great way to revitalise you if you’re struggling after a night of no sleep, they also mess up your routine by changing when you start to feel tired at night.
If you do need to nap, consider sleeping for only twenty minutes or less. This should stop you from entering deep sleep, where you’re more likely to wake up tired and confused.
*Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
I really enjoyed this book and I’d definitely recommend it for anyone that wants to learn more about our sleep patterns and how much sleep we really need.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.