Sleep is a critical physiological process in our lives. It not only gives your body a chance to rejuvenate from the unpleasant stresses of life, but it is also therapeutic and has been shown to augment the treatment of certain health conditions. It is essential to maintain practices of good sleep hygiene as it can boost your mood and increase your cognitive performance. If you have yet to get started, here are the 6 best ways that you can practice good sleep hygiene.
1. Decide on the amount of sleep you need
Nowadays, people lead busy lifestyles and you’ll find those who are trying their best to find a balance between work and family. As a result, deciding on a specific amount of sleep time needed can help you keep in line with your schedule while also ensuring enough rest. You can include a sleep time in your schedule and be specific about the exact number of hours you need. An alarm clock can help you maintain your sleep schedule.
2. Practice going to bed at the same time every day
Our bodies have a sleep-wake cycle that is mainly controlled by hormones. This sleep-wake cycle is called the circadian rhythm of sleep. When appropriately maintained, it nourishes your entire body and enriches you with all the benefits of sleep. With constant practice, this rhythm is what makes some people wake up at specific times of the day, even without having an alarm to wake them.
3. Keep the bedroom dark
Research has shown that dark rooms can help you fall asleep faster. This advice is more beneficial to individuals who have trouble getting into sleep or are suffering from sleep disorders. A dark and cool room regulates how your body interacts with the external environment during sleep, hence the reason why it is recommended for people with insomnia. If you’re struggling to sleep, getting a cooling mattress can also be beneficial to aid in temperature regulation efforts and let you stay in the right cool temperature during the night.
4. Limit naps during the day
While napping has been scientifically proven to increase performance, reduce anxiety and improve mood during the day, it may not be a good idea if your main goal is to have a good night’s sleep. If you take several naps during the day, you may not be sleepy during the night and end up staying awake the entire time. Frequent naps can also alter your circadian rhythm.
5. Ensure that the bedroom is quiet
Although some people feel fearful of absolute silence, especially at night, it is essential to minimise the noises in your bedroom as it can get in the way of your sleep. Turn down the volume on the radio, and close the windows to limit any noise pollution from the environment. You can also consider keeping your pets outside the bedroom if they are a barrier to a peaceful sleep.
6. Eat at least 3 hours before bedtime
The recommended amount of time to eat before bedtime is three hours. After three hours, most of the food you eat will have undergone through digestion. This is an active process that requires the use of energy, and sleep is the opposite of that. Eating before going to bed is closely associated to consuming more calories than your daily needs, and this will lead to weight gain.
Aside from practising good sleeping habits, choosing the right types of mattress can help you achieve adequate sleep to tackle the next day. Cooling mattresses and memory foam mattress are just some prime examples that provide you with restful sleep while ensuring optimum comfort level.