If you've been having trouble sleeping, it's time you started looking into sleep hygiene. Basically, sleep hygiene refers to a various practices that can improve your sleep quality and daytime alertness. Getting a good night's sleep is important not just so you don't feel tired the next day, it means better physical and mental health as well as a better quality of life in general.
Balance is the key when it comes to good sleep health. Too much or too little sleep can lead to medical conditions like high blood pressure, lethargy, increase stress levels and so on. Fortunately, improving your current sleeping habits can significantly decrease your chance developing health problems. Read on to discover how you can get better disrupted sleep with the following 8 simple steps.
Having a regular time that you go to bed every night is a great habit to cultivate in order to improve your sleep. Try to do this even on the weekends, maybe with the exception of half and hour later at the most once in a while. This will also help you wake up at around the same time every morning with a feeling of being well-rested.
Avoid using your phone, computer, TV or any other electrical devices before you are about to go to bed, because all the devices emit blue light which decreases the serotonin level in your brain and makes us feel more awake. If you have to use an electrical device in the evening, add a blue light filter which will allow your body to start producing melatonin so that you eventually become sleepy and can properly follow your regular sleeping routine.
Don't use the bedroom to do your work, study or watch TV because your mind will associate the bedroom with a place of work or entertainment. One of the rules of good sleep hygiene is to use the bedroom only for sleeping or sex, and nothing else.
As soon as you've finished dinner and are ready to relax in the evening, turn the lights down low, because this gives a signal to your that sleep is not far away and you will naturally start to get more sleepy as the evening draws out. Once you're ready to get into bed, make sure the bedroom is as dark as possible and use ear plugs if you need to shut out any noise. It may also be worthwhile to consult with a professional on how to make your bedroom design more sleep-friendly. For more inspiration, here are some lighting ideas for bedrooms.
Going to sleep at a regular time is important as we mentioned earlier, but in order to get into this habit, it can be helpful to create a bedtime routine. To do this, split the hour before you're supposed to go to bed into three rituals which will take about 20 minutes to complete each. You can read a book, take a hot shower, meditate or just relax.
Exercising stimulates us and energizes us, so it's best to do it in the morning. That way you're energized for the rest of the day and get tired by evening time. If you don't have much of a choice, but to exercise in the evening, make sure you exercise at least 4 hours before going to sleep.
Heavy meals just before bed can cause us to have a restless sleep. Also avoid sweet, sour and spicy food 4 hours before bed. However, if you get hungry just before bed, a small snack high in carbohydrates like bread increases serotonin levels and makes you sleepy. You may also want to read up on some Vastu Shastra tips to keep bad energy away from your home as many people believe this can also lead to sleeping disturbances.
If you try too hard to fall asleep, it won't work. It's like trying not to think of the colour blue as you read this sentence. So if you don't fall asleep after 20 minutes of lying around in bed, get out of bed and try relaxing on the couch in the living room, breathing slowly or meditating. Don't switch on your phone, TV or try to read a book as this will just stimulate your brain more and keep you awake.
It might not be easy to cultivate these sleeping habits at first, but it will get easier over time as you get used to a routine and form new habits. In the long-run, you will be very glad you took the effort to form healthier sleeping habits as your general health and well-being will improve significantly.