Good sleep is crucial for leading a healthy life. But some people find it impugning to get a night of quality sleep. It may be due to poor sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene directs to the practises that help you to get quality sleep.
Sleeping problems are not a result of single-day practice. But people backed bad habits over years or even decades. Are you also a victim of sleeping problems like insomnia? Also, do you find yourself staring at the wall at 2 am or suddenly wake up at 2 am? If you are going to say yes, you must start thinking about sleep hygiene.
Good sleep quality is just like a healthy diet that your body requires. Getting good sleep quality positively affects your hormones, brain functions, and day-to-day performance. But your bad habits may be preventing you from getting a night of quality sleep and enhancing your performance.
Do you want to enhance your sleep quality? Yes? Let's explore more about sleep hygiene techniques that can help you enhance your sleep quality. Also read 10 Reasons Why Good Sleep is Important
Sleep hygiene techniques
Don't disturb your sleeping schedule frequently
It is vital to make a consistent sleeping schedule. Changing your sleeping schedule regularly disturbs your sleeping cycle. For instance, you sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 6 am. Keep it the same every day. This good sleep habits help your body's sleep cycle and make it more effortless to sleep and wake up at a particular time daily.
Whether it's a weekday or weekend, stick to your sleeping schedule. But also make sure your sleeping schedule covers 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Unless you are not feeling sleepy, don't go to bed. A consistent schedule may also help decrease daytime sleepiness.Inconsistent bedtimes and wake-up times make people prone to various diseases.
Don't take daytime naps
Daytime naps make it challenging to fall asleep at night time. Undoubtedly, daytime naps make you feel refreshed, but they should not exceed more than twenty minutes.
Longer naps may awaken you at night and disturb your sleeping schedule. It would be best to avoid daytime naps and increase the sleep debt.
We need a particular amount of sleep every night. Taking a nap of 1 or 2 hours a day reduces the quantity of sleep you need the following night. It can lead to sleep fragmentation, cause problems in falling asleep, and deteriorate sleep quality. You can keep yourself busy to avoid daytime naps. It is one of the best sleep hygiene techniques for improving sleep quality.
More exposure to bright light during the day
Do you know your body has a circadian rhythm? It means a natural time-keeping clock that regulates your daily routine, like when to stay away and when it's time to sleep.
Sunlight helps to keep your natural time-keeping clock healthy. It enhances the person's energy in the daytime and sleep quality at night.
Besides this, bright light or sunlight exposure enhance the production of the brain hormone serotonin. This hormone helps the person stay calm and concentrated. If you cannot take sunlight every day, get an artificial bright light device or bulbs. This sleep hygiene practice can help you keep awake in the daytime and fall asleep at the right time during the night.
Peace is bedroom bliss
As per research, around 75% of people require a peaceful environment while going to bed. They think that quietness is essential for falling asleep fast and getting good sleep quality.
If you live in a region where car horns or highway traffic don't let you sleep peacefully, you can mask these disruptive noises with white noises. White noise helps you calm and fall asleep quickly.
Besides this, you can use a fan also. It will keep the room cool as well as save your ears from disruptive noises. If you don't like this idea, sleep music is a saviour for you. Sleep music creates a relaxing environment in the bedroom and helps you get a good night's sleep.
Have you tried such sleep hygiene techniques? If not, try your hand on them. Blow a scented candle, play sleep music and get sleeping vibes.
Avoid staying awake in bed for more than 5-10 minutes
If you wake up suddenly at midnight and find it difficult to sleep again, then this sleep hygiene techniques will help you out. What do you have to do? If you are not feeling sleepy, get out of bed but don't use your mobile phone or TV. Now, sit in a chair in the dark. When you start feeling sleepy after some time, go to your bed.
Is it happening frequently with you? If yes, then it's OK. You can use this sleep hygiene to avoid it. Try to stick with consistent sleep and wake-up time. Also, a big no to naps until you feel too tired.
A relaxing bedtime routine is the mantra of good sleep quality
Creating a soothing bedtime routine helps body muscles to relax, and when you start sticking to it, your body starts remembering that it is your time to get in bed and sleep. You can begin with the following routine 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed.
- Try out some stretching before you go to sleep. It will relax your muscles.
- Meditation before bedtime is a good sleep habits. Meditation for 10-15 minutes helps calm your mind and release stress.
- Read any book before you go to bed. It is a healthy practice.
- Take a warm water shower. It soothes your body and mind, and you fall asleep quickly.
Add Workout to your schedule as good sleep habits
Do you know that regular exercise can improve your sleep quality? Yes, it is true. A regular thirty-minute workout also helps you fall asleep and improve your sleep quality. The researchers cannot explain the co-relation between these two, but it really helps. They have some theories like
- Exercise drives transitions in your core body temperature.
- It reduces the manifestations of anxiety and depression.
- Workout may reset your internal body clock if disturbed and help you fall asleep easily.
Stay away from electronic devices before you go to bed.
There is a sleeping hormone called melatonin. It is responsible for your sleeping pattern. When you use any electronic devices like mobile phones during bedtime, it radiates blue light and reduces the production of the sleeping hormone.
Melatonin hormone levels decide how quickly you will fall asleep. If it drops, it becomes problematic to fall asleep quickly. Blue light keeps you distracted and keeps your mind active. So it is better to keep your mobile phone aside 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Try this sleep hygiene techniques today and see how it will make a difference. Read Deep Restful Sleep.
Reduce your caffeine intake
When we wake up all night to finish an important assignment, we usually take caffeine help. Its effects last up to 3 to 7 hours after its consumption.
High caffeine consumption decreases the amount of sound sleep you require to be healthy. As per studies, if you consume caffeine 6 hours before bedtime, it lessens total sleep time by 1 hour. These outcomes also can be more substantial in older adults. So cutting your caffeine intake can help you get better sleep at night. It is a good sleep habits if you add it to your everyday routine.
Avoid late-evening meals
Have you enjoyed Christmas dinner recently? Then you must have an idea of how late evening meals can influence your sleep.
If you are having a large meal tight to your bedtime, it affects your sleep quality. Late-night feeds impact the production of hormones like HGH and melatonin. But that doesn't mean that you have to avoid food completely. Instead of this, it is better to eat a proper portion and pick ingredients that will not affect your sleep negatively.
What is the cause of nightmares?
Nightmares not only disturb your sleep but also affect your mental health. There can be various reasons for nightmares:
- Daily stress or mental pressure can cause nightmares
- Sometimes a sudden shock to the mind leads to nightmares.
- The mental condition also plays a crucial role in it
- If you are on specific treatment and taking medicine for it, it can be a reason for a nightmare.
- Sometimes we watch horror movies or read books, which leaves an impression on our minds.
- If you are not getting enough sleep, it can cause a bad dream.
In such a situation, you should reduce your problem as soon as possible.
Sleep struggle is for real. If you didn't sleep well last night, it affects your following day. Nowadays, people are so engaged. They are mostly stuck at their mobile phone screens, affecting their sleep cycle and health. It is appropriate to prioritise your sleep over mobile phones and a tight schedule. We have introduced you to the best sleep hygiene techniques. Now it's your turn to mask all the bad habits with these good sleep habits.
Authored by: Vijeta Rana
About the Author: Vijeta Rana is a Wellness and Fitness Blogger from Punjab, India.