10 Keys to Good Sleep Hygiene
Many people in the world have difficulty sleeping. As much as they try, they have a hard time falling asleep. However, certain basic sleep hygiene guidelines can help to get peaceful rest.
When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, many difficulties arise. The brain needs to rest to perform processes that it can’t do while awake. If you don’t get good rest, the brain can’t work well throughout the day. This can have long-term consequences.
Sleep hygiene can help you get restful sleep. It comprises very simple and easy-to-implement measures. Simply following them consistently will make them become healthy habits.
Here are ten keys to good sleep hygiene:
1. Create a suitable environment
It’s essential to create suitable conditions for pleasant sleep. In this regard, if it’s hard for you to fall asleep, a noisy or very bright environment isn’t going to help. Similarly, the temperature is key. Overall, it’s appropriate to adapt your room to keep these factors under control.
2. Bedtime rituals: the key to good sleep hygiene
The body and mind respond very well to human activities, such as eating and sleeping, if you program them. Therefore, good sleep hygiene consists of creating bedtime rituals.
Basically, this consists of gradually reducing your activity so you can go into rest mode. For example, it’s a good idea to take a warm water bath and drink a cup of soothing tea before going to bed.
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3. Eat a healthy dinner
Eating healthily helps you sleep better. Dinner is fundamental. You should never eat heavy dinners. Fullness isn’t a good sleep ally, but neither is trying to go to sleep feeling hungry. Ideally, you should enjoy a light but filling dinner. Also, you should eat three hours before bedtime.
4. Avoid the intake of certain substances for good sleep hygiene
For obvious reasons, drinking stimulating beverages can affect your rest. One of the basic rules of good sleep hygiene is avoiding ingesting these substances after midafternoon. This includes coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and, of course, energy drinks. These drinks increase your alertness and can make it harder for you to fall asleep.
5. The importance of exercise
Physical exercise is great for all purposes, including sleep. It’s good for you to adopt a daily exercise routine according to your age and physical condition. However, you should make sure not to exercise right before bed. This is because, after exercising, the body takes two to four hours to return to its normal rhythm.
6. Don’t overdo it with daytime naps
Nowadays, many people can’t treat themselves to a nap after lunch. If you’re one of the lucky few, make sure you don’t overdo it. In this sense, you shouldn’t nap for more than 20 minutes if you want to sleep well at night. In fact, if it’s really hard for you to fall asleep, it’s best to simply avoid napping during the day.
7. Have regular schedules for sleep hygiene
As we mentioned above, it’s good for your body to have regular routines for your basic functions. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will significantly help you solve any sleep problems. Once you acquire the habit, your body will start to ask you for rest at the usual time.
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8. Avoid electronic devices
For proper sleep hygiene, it’s necessary to turn off all the electronic devices around you. You won’t be able to sleep well if you have the TV on or you leave your cellphone near your bed. Plus, it’ll be even harder for you to fall asleep if you take your computer home to get some work done before bedtime! These devices must be turned off when you’re sleeping.
9. Try relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques are an excellent alternative for those who have chronic sleep problems. Likewise, experts even advise those who don’t have sleeping problems to do some relaxation exercises just before going to bed. They’re one of the keys to good sleep hygiene that guarantee better rest.
10. Your bed, a decisive factor in good sleep hygiene
You need to be aware that your bed should be just for sexual relations and sleeping. Thus, don’t work, watch TV, or eat in it. If you can’t sleep, get up and lie down again only if you think you’re ready to sleep.
That said, one of the best investments you can make is in a good bed because having a comfortable, healthy place to sleep truly makes a difference.