Did you know that a majority of health conditions are especially related to mental health or somehow or most of the time directly related to lack of sleep? Most of the hormonal balances are also linked to poor sleep patterns or sleeping hygiene. If you are wondering what exactly is sleep hygiene? It is the term which is used to talk about healthy sleep habits or healthy sleep behaviors that you need to practise in order to improve your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep without any trouble throughout the night. Practicing and most importantly establishing correct sleep hygiene every single day impacts not just the quality of your sleep but also the quantity of your sleep every single night. It plays a very vital role in maintaining your mental and physical health. There are a lot of smart sleeping habits that we might have to improve our sleep hygiene with, they are:
- Following a proper nightly routine which will allow you time for your relaxing activities as well.
- Ensuring that you go to bed at the same time every single day.
- Creating a sleep environment that is healthy by including dimming the lights and maintaining an ideal temperature in the room.
- Ensuring to switch off all your electronic devices or stop using them at least 60 minutes prior to your sleep time.
- Reduce your stress levels.
- Limit caffeine intake a few hours before your bedtime.
- Carrying out certain physical activities in the day..
- Avoiding carb loaded or rich in fat meals before bed.
How can one practice good sleep hygiene
The path to good sleep always begins with small positive changes in your lifestyle habits. Following a healthy diet, establishing morning and night routines, doing regular exercise – all of this puts a positive change to your quality of sleep. Here are some more tips that you can incorporate in order to practice healthy hygiene when it comes to sleep.
Establishing a night routine
Doing this includes something that you really enjoy, for example just relaxing before you go to bed. These relaxing activities could include taking a nice shower, reading a book, practicing restaurateur yoga, stretching or meditating, listening to soothing music, journalling and much more. Carrying out these activities just before you go to bed will allow your mind and body to transition to the wakefulness of falling asleep.
Incorporating physical activities in your every day routine
If you live the life of a couch potato, you will never be able to fall asleep immediately as soon as you hit your bed. Why do we sleep? It is the time a body takes to restore its energy repair its cells and pump a body with health so that it can carry out the next days activities in a sound manner. Improve your sleep quality and quantity by engaging in physical activities. It is only when your body has been exercise that it would want to get some rest and sleep in order to restore its energy for the next day. There is a particular research that shows performing moderate or intensity driven exercises at least 90 minutes before your bedtime will not affect your sleep. Rather it will help you fall asleep. Always remember that you must not perform vigorous exercises as it can create sleep disturbances. Moderate intensity exercises like walking, yoga will help.
Creating a healthy sleep environment
An optimal environment is best to fall asleep easier. What do we mean by an optimal environment? It is an environment which is free of electronic devices, the room is at an ideal thermostat temperature, and is dark enough for you to fall asleep. Always aim to switch off your electronic devices and beat your phones, televisions, laptops or tablets at least an hour prior before you hit the bed. Either dim or turn off the lights of your room and ensure that the thermostat temperature of the room is between 60 to 67° which is the ideal room temperature to fall asleep.
Paying attention to what you eat and drink before bed
To sleep in an optimal manner you need to begin with your stomach – it should neither be too full nor be too empty. So ideally, you need to avoid eating large meals that are carb loaded or high in fat as they have been directly associated with sleeping disorders.
Limit your caffeine intake
Consuming caffeine very close to your sleeping hours or just before you sleep can make it very hard for you to fall asleep. If you are someone who drinks caffeinated beverages like tea or soda or coffee – remember to finish them or are there in the middle of the day or in the beginning of your day in the morning rather than evening hours. Caffeine that is consumed around six hours prior to the sleep time will definitely disrupt sleep and there are several studies and researches that support this.
Remember to ask for professional help
It is always a good idea to take an appointment with your doctor to discuss any sleep related issues that you have been facing consistently. For example, your body is tired and worn out and still you are having difficulty in falling asleep calls for immediate attention. It is very important to develop a healthy sleep hygiene plan that will work best for you. It will steer clear from anxiety, depression, or any other kind of mental disturbances.