Having good sleep hygiene can help you get better quality sleep to ensure you’re well-rested for the next day. Sleep hygiene consists of all the different sleep habits you have and your sleep environment that can impact sleep. For example, having a regular sleep schedule can help you sleep better while making waking up easier. Everyone has a different version of sleep hygiene, but good sleep hygiene can improve your health and wellness by providing you with better sleep. This article will discuss the importance of sleep hygiene and the habits you can build to get better sleep every night.
Importance of Sleep Hygiene
Having a night of quality sleep is essential for physical and mental health, and it can also improve your quality of life and productivity at work and home. Everyone can benefit from better sleep and improving their sleep cycle; the problem is that many people don’t have good sleep hygiene.
Nighttime routines can help shape behaviors, so you don’t even have to think about them; instead, you’ll put your body and mind on autopilot once you’ve built up your nighttime habits. However, bad sleep habits, including staying up late or watching television before bed, can interrupt your sleep cycle and cause poor sleep, so it’s essential to build good habits. Building your environment and developing the proper routines can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
Habits for Better Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene can help you make the right environment and lifestyle choices to get better sleep at night. Here are some habits you can build to have better sleep hygiene.
Have a Sleep Schedule
Setting a sleep schedule can help you get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the exact time every day. It ultimately gets your body and mind used to falling asleep and waking up simultaneously so you can get a whole night’s rest. Here’s how you can set a better sleep schedule:
Wake up at the same time every day
Whether it’s a weekend or a weekday, try to wake up around the same time every day. A fluctuating sleep schedule can stop you from getting into the rhythm of achieving quality and consistent sleep.
We know you’re busy, but you can accomplish a lot more work when you’re well-rested. Instead of staying up late to finish up work for the day, prioritize sleep by going to bed at the same time no matter what.
Make adjustments gradually
If you want to improve your sleep schedule, try not to make changes all at once, and quick changes can throw your sleep rhythm off and leave you feeling fatigued. Instead, make tiny adjustments every day by an hour so you can start getting your body and mind adjusted to a new sleep schedule.
The occasional nap is fine, especially if you’re not feeling well and your body needs the rest. However, napping during the day can throw off your sleep cycle and keep you up at night.
Have Nightly Routines
Nighttime routines can help you fall asleep faster because they let your mind know when it’s time to start winding down. This pre-sleep routine can also help you calm down after a long day because it allows you to put your mind on autopilot while you get ready for bed. You can have a routine that involves just about anything, but most people prefer to make a to-do list for the next day, brush their teeth, or layout their clothes.
Winding down is essential, and it’s something you’ll need to do every night to help your mind relax before you go to bed. While the amount of time your mind needs to wind down can vary, try to give yourself at least thirty minutes every night, including relaxation exercises. Do not watch television or check your phone during your wind downtime, as blue light can trick your mind into thinking it’s still daytime, interrupting your natural sleep cycle.
Have Healthy Habits
Having healthy habits can also improve your sleep cycle because they help you manage your emotions, including stress and anxiety, while also helping you feel better. A few healthy habits you can try every day include:
Spending some time outside, in the natural light, can help you improve your circadian rhythm, but it can also help you relax. Fresh air and sunlight positively affect mental health, so spending some time outside for the day can help you get a much-needed break from work or chores.
Being active can help you lose weight and maintain overall health, which is important for sleep. However, it can also make it easier to sleep at night because it allows you to burn off any extra energy you might have, especially if you have a desk job that doesn’t allow you to get up and be active throughout the day.
Don’t drink caffeine at night
As you already know, caffeine is a stimulant that many people use throughout the day to help them wake up and stay awake and energized. However, drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day can make you feel awake when you should be getting quality rest. Depending on your caffeine tolerance level, consider switching to a non-caffeinated beverage in the late afternoon and evening if you’re trying to set a consistent sleep schedule.
Consider Your Environment
You must optimize your bedroom for better sleep, which means taking a look at your sleep environment. Here are some things that can impact your sleep environment:
Most people can’t sleep if it’s too hot or cold. Depending on where you live, you might have to adjust your thermostat every night to set your optimal sleep temperature.
Your bed and pillows should be comfortable. However, the pillow you use might depend on your sleep comfort. For example, you can get a pillow for side sleepers or even a flatter pillow if you prefer to sleep on your stomach.
Noise and light
If you live in the city, you might need to find a way to drown out noise and light to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. You can invest in blackout curtains and a noise machine to help you fall asleep better at night.
Sleep hygiene can make or break your sleep, so it’s essential to find healthy ways to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Once you have a consistent schedule, relaxing routine, and a comfortable environment, you can start sleeping better and waking up feeling more refreshed.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.