3 Tips for Better Sleep Hygiene
People often neglect to pay attention to their sleep hygiene, which leads them struggling to get enough shuteye. Getting consistent and good quality sleep is important because sleep gives our body the time to rejuvenate and repair, and allows our brain to process and consolidate our memories. Some of us may be sleep deprived (and according to a study, most Americans are), but some also have good sleep hygiene that helps them fall asleep easily. Understanding sleep is still mostly a big mystery to us but some practices are known to help us get better and higher quality sleep.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to our bedtime rituals and behaviors. When we were younger and still attended school, our parents made sure that we had a consistent bedtime routine to help encourage a healthy amount of sleep. However, as we get older though, the concern is that we tend to stay up later and forget that we have to remain consistent unlike when we were children. This tends to develop into bad sleep habits and the quality of our sleep is compromised.
The good news is we can repair our sleep schedule by giving time and energy in honing our sleep hygiene. In fact, if you are having trouble hitting the hay lately, improving your sleep hygiene is the most effective way to get better sleep. Sleep conditions like mild insomnia are temporary and tweaking our sleep hygiene can help fix this.
Good sleep hygiene is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and creating consistent and fulfilling sleep schedules will help promote physical, mental, and emotional health.
With all this in mind, here are three tips that will help you towards better sleep hygiene:
Schedule Blue Light Access
The sun naturally emits blue light. This part of the spectrum helps our body gain energy, brightens our mood, and elevates alertness and reaction time. As the day goes by, our body’s energy levels also dip. However, blue light also comes from other sources now including our smartphones, laptops, and LED light bulbs and can have the same effect as the sun, which can be frustrating when we want to go to bed. To help combat the effects of blue light, you can schedule the access to this and limit gadget use one or two hours before bed so that your body is able to wind down successfully.
Consistency really is key for sleep, and a lot of the problems in not getting enough quality sleep is that bedtime is not the same time every night. This may create uneven energy levels for your body which will, in turn, make you less productive during the day.
To help start a consistent bedtime, you have to first evaluate how much sleep your body needs. Each person is different and may have a different number of hours of sleep that they need. Some can function with seven hours a night while some need at least eight and a half hours. Once you know that, allow at least two hours before bedtime to start your routine so you are able to fall asleep at the exact time you need and wake up feeling refreshed.
You can also work backwards if needed. For example, if you are somebody who needs at least eight hours of sleep to feel energized and you need to get up at 7AM every day, you have to be asleep at 11PM. This means that by 9PM you are starting to wind down and start your sleep hygiene routine.
Be Aware of Snoring
Last tip is to be aware of what happens when you’re already asleep. If you have a partner or a roommate, this may be easier to do. However if you are alone, you can record yourself at night and observe your sleep. This can give you a better overview of when you're sleeping. This also helps you see if you snore. Snoring is one of the most common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. This may also cause fatigue and tiredness in the morning even if you’re supposedly getting enough sleep.
If you do snore, it would be good to consult a medical professional to see if you do have OSA. CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, treatment is the most common way to treat OSA and is widely available. You can start your search for a CPAP machine at BuyMedical.com.
There’s more to sleep than we know but we do know that it’s an essential part of our health. It helps us regulate our mood and gives us the energy to do our tasks. We often sacrifice sleep to do other things in our lives but with this knowledge on sleep hygiene, hopefully we also make time for this important part of our everyday lives.