The Lowdown on Sleep Hygiene: Everything You Need to Know For Better Sleep
Are you one of the many in the world who has difficulties in sleeping? Then it's time to begin changing your sleep hygiene to ensure a better night's sleep to help have a better lifestyle. Wondering what you should follow? Read on and I'll show you the path to better sleep!
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Did you know that sleep hygiene is imperative to ensure a good night's sleep? Not only does it help you sleep better, but it's known to be a fantastic way to deal with a wide range of sleeping problems, including insomnia.
How does proper sleep hygiene help with insomnia?
The reason why you have a difficult time sleeping isn't that your body doesn't know how to sleep properly. The main issue here is the bad habits you have that inhibit the way your body's natural sleep pattern works.
And what's the optimum (and only) solution to this? To change your sleeping habits and have the proper sleep hygiene, of course! Sleep hygiene is the certain practices and habits you must follow to maintain a good sleeping pattern and prevent various sleeping disorders.
Like everything you have learned about sleep, getting the proper sleep hygiene helps in ensuring that you are not only energized and active throughout the day but that you also have the optimum concentration to focus on the task at hand. Following the right sleep hygiene results in an excellent quality of rest every night. And because of this, you have ensured a better mood, a positive mindset, and the motivation to continue moving forward rather than stay tired and groggy.
With proper sleep hygiene and better rest, it also prevents various sleeping disorders from hindering your sleep quality. Insomnia has been linked to improper sleep, as well as other sleeping disorders that cause little to no rest. As you continue healthy sleep hygiene, just like following a diet or exercise regime, positive results will follow.
In the next sections, I'll be talking about how to fix your sleep hygiene and the methods to follow!
Have you ever asked yourself: "Why am I sleepy all the time?" or "Why am I tired in the morning?" Then it may be due to lack of sleep, which needs to fix, starting with your sleep schedule. You're probably wondering: What is sleep schedule anyway?
It's not just the amount of hours you allocate for sleep, but the time you set to do so. Sure, people sleep anytime they can and once their work is done, but that's actually a bad habit! With your work or school interfering with sleeping patterns, not only will you have a difficult time sleeping from the erratic schedule, but chances are that you won't get enough of it as well. It doesn't only affect your quality of sleep, but the amount of time it takes to do so.
The average time to fall asleep would usually be about 10 to 20 minutes. If it takes you shorter, you may have been especially tired during the day. If it takes longer and you have a weird feeling when trying to fall asleep, then there are various things your body may be telling you.
That's why it's imperative to learn how to create a sleeping schedule to improve how long it takes for you to fall asleep.
Start Improving Your Environment
Yes, the bedroom and how it looks (and feels) is a very important factor in changing your sleep for the better. Whether you touch while sleeping or have different problems in the room, amping its atmosphere and making it more "sleep-able" will ensure a better time sleeping quickly and without the distractions that cause a bad night's rest.
It doesn't matter where you live or how small your room is. These methods I'll be showing are simple and affordable to do. And through these small changes, your bedroom will be made for sleeping, just like how it's supposed to be!
Lose The Lights
Are you wondering about how lights affect sleep? Exposure to the light would stimulate the body and mind, which has you feel awake and alert. With insufficient darkness, it can have you feel the same way when seeing the day, meaning you'll have prolonged awakening.
So darkness is essential for good sleep. The dark would send a sign to your body that it's time for bed. Melatonin, a hormone necessary for sleeping, rises as darkness begins to fall, while the hormone levels lessen as the day comes.
Without darkness, you will have a harder time to sleep, despite using a sleep mask for side sleepers to treat your sleep apnea.
So what should you do? Darkness is key. Make sure that you have no lights on in your room and that you are in complete darkness. If you work the night shift, you can opt to draw curtains for darkness and have light therapy lamps to mimic the day when you get up at night. It's time to throw away that nightlight and start facing your fear of the dark.
Keeping Your Cool
Keeping your cool doesn't only mean that you need to stay calm and away from stressors before sleeping. It means that you have to have the best temperature for sleeping, which is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (for babies and toddlers, 65 to 70 degrees works best). Yes, even the coolness of your room is vital in having high-quality sleep. How?
This is because your body temperature decreases and would fare better when the air is cooler. Studies have shown that the thermostat settings that go higher or lower than what's recommended would have you restless or affect your quality of sleep.
Think of your bedroom as a cave. The cave should be cool, dark, and quiet, so you are able to rest well. So what should you do here? Keep the temperature level between what's recommended, of course!
If it's too hot, you can opt to use a fan for sleeping, or adjust your air conditioner's temperature. But if it's too cold, you can invest in a heated mattress pad or a mattress for hot sleepers. A comforter for sleeping is also a quick and more affordable solution.
Enjoy The Right Noise
I'm pretty sure you know that you should NOT listen to hard rock or very loud sounds before you sleep. Even slight bangs and sounds can wake a light sleeper up! But if you aren't a fan of complete silence or if you are bothered by sounds outside your room, then there are certain sounds to help you sleep better.
If you're wondering how to block out noise, white noise has been becoming popular over the years for its positive effects. ASMR, or whispering therapy, can also help calm you down because of its soft and soothing sounds. Another option would be nature sounds, with rain and thunder working the best for me!
You can find noise-canceling sounds like ASMR and white noise online, or there are devices that omit this type of noise as well to have it continuous. You won't need to soundproof your room just to not hear the air conditioner or television outside. Simply invest in the right headphone for heavy sleepers or have a noise-canceling sound machine, and you're good to go.
A Quality Mattress
Yes, a quality mattress is imperative to having you sleep well. After all, who would want to sleep on something very hard?
I recommend that you invest in a flippable mattress to have it last longer, as you will need to have a firm (but soft) mattress to support your body. Memory foam mattresses are also great, though you may be wondering: "How long does a memory foam mattress last?"
Fortunately, they would last for about four to ten years, depending on the foam and how it was used and cared for. To have it last longer, you'll need to know how to make a soft mattress firmer to make it conducive for sleeping. Plywood boards or a waterproof mattress pad will help you out with that as well. Platform beds are great for added support as well. You'll need to consider what works best for you.
So if you're wondering what to do for better sleep in this section, I would recommend that you search for a mattress company that offers quality products.
Clean Out The Air
Now, who would want to sleep in a room that's musty or dirty? Not only does it feel gross, but your sinuses will be blocked as well, which prevents you from breathing properly. As a result, your inability to breathe well will also affect your sleep.
If your room is fresh and with clean air, then it may be something else that's missing.
Take note that isn't only about the cleanliness of the air that has you sleep better. To sleep better, fresh air and aromatic scents will contribute greatly. Yes, there are essential oils and scents that can encourage better sleep, such as lavender oil. Essential oils have calming effects that have you feel sleepy or energized, depending on the mix. Not only that, but fresher air will keep you breathing the way you should, ensuring good health and better sleep.
I recommend that you get a diffuser for large room then invest in an essential oil for energy and relaxation. You'll be surprised with how much it can calm you after a hard day's work. Once I began using essential oils for energy and relaxation, I noticed how soundly I slept! I even woke up feeling brighter and more refreshed than ever.
The Techniques For Better Sleep
Besides having the proper environment for sleeping, the proper sleep also begins with YOU! Even with the best sleeping environment and changing your sleeping schedule for the better, if you don't get your body to sleep comfortably, you'll still have difficulty sleeping either way.
It all starts with a good routine and following the proper sleeping positions. Not only will this help you relax and fall asleep quickly, but you have a better chance of waking up without pain. It will take time to pick up on new habits, but believe me when I say it's worth all the effort!
Before Going To Bed
Like what I mentioned, a routine before going to bed is imperative to help your body relax and go into "sleep mode." To do this, you can begin by following relaxing techniques, such as:
If you are falling asleep before eating, then that's totally fine. But don't eat a lot right before sleeping, as this would cause heartburn and lack of digestion in the body. If you have trouble falling asleep, you may want to try eating a bit of food that helps you relax and sleep better, such as nuts, cherries, or even dark leafy greens.
The ultimate relaxation is through meditation, which lulls you to sleep by practicing your breathing and mindfulness. If you aren't familiar with how it goes, you can check up on a free guide meditation for sleep to help you get started!
Yes, reading a book can help relax your mind, as long as you read the right one! Opt for inspirational or self-help books rather than horror or suspense. You'll be able to keep your mind at ease and get ready for good dreams.
People often think that a good sleeping posture is whatever they are comfortable with, but that's not the case! Poor sleeping posture will result in pain once you get up. If you have been wondering how to get rid of neck pain from sleeping, changing your position is the first step.
What you should do is to begin with sleeping with a pillow the right way. But how many pillows should you sleep with? It depends. There should only be one even-sized pillow under your head, and maybe one under your knees or feet, which is optional. As long as your head and neck are fully supported by the pillow, then it will get rid of the pain.
Also, I recommend that you either sleep on your back or side, but never on your stomach, as this restricts your breathing. Make sure to properly align your neck with your pillow before sleeping, as this affects both your neck and back, the common victims of pain after waking up. You may want to consider getting special pillows or mattresses to help comfort your body and avoid any pain while sleeping.
Bonus: Special Sleeping Tips
Besides the methods I have shown you on improving sleep hygiene, here are tips to sleep better:
How To Fall Asleep When Sick
It's Difficult To Learn How To Sleep While You Are Uncomfortable. What I Do Is To Prop Myself Up To Help Ease The Sinus Pressure And Make It Easier To Breathe. Drinking Or Eating Something Hot, As Well As Taking Medicine, Will Help A Lot In Staying Asleep. You May Also Want To Consider Getting A Humidifier.
How To Sleep Sitting Up
Plan On Trying To Sleep At Desk? Opt For The Right Seating, With Lower Back Support And Investing In Neck Pillows. Make Sure That You Have A Pillow Behind You For Extra Comfort As Well.
And there you have it! Sleep hygiene is imperative to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help with sleeping disorders, but it aids in staying energized and active. And with the right sleeping habits to correct your sleep hygiene, you won't have to worry about not being able to sleep as well as expected anymore.
I hope that this article and tips on sleep hygiene helped you out. So don't wait any longer and begin applying these methods and information to your daily life today.