Sleep hygiene refers to a set of practices and habits that promote good, quality sleep. These practices in turn create an optimal sleep environment that contributes to restful and uninterrupted sleep.
Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? Luckily sleep hygiene is something anyone can attain. It just takes a little knowledge and know-how to get started, and that’s what this article is for.
Sleep hygiene is all about cultivating positive before-bed habits and creating an environment that makes your journey to dreamland smooth and enjoyable.
Quality sleep is not a luxury; it’s a fundamental need that fuels our daily vitality and resilience.
From setting the perfect sleep schedule to curating a bedtime routine that whispers, “Time to unwind,” it’s the secret sauce to waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
So, if you have a hard time falling asleep or if you’re simply ready to transform your sleep game, let’s dive into the world of sleep hygiene and discover the simple yet powerful tips that can make a world of difference in the quality of your shut-eye.
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Here Are the Top 5 Sleep Hygiene Tips to Help You Get the Best Rest:
Based on research, the most common and effectie recommendations for maintaining good sleep hygiene include the following.
1. Consistent Sleep Schedule:
The first sleep hygiene tip on the list might sound like an obvious, but many of us aren’t doing it.
Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate the body’s internal clock. Of course not everyone has that luxury (hats off to all our graveyard shift workers!), but try doing this to the best of your ability.
Why? Because your body loves routine, especially when it comes to sleep. Having a consistent sleep schedule is like giving your internal clock a comforting high-five every day. When you wake and rise at the same time each day, you’re essentially syncing up with your body’s natural rhythm.
In the name of our sleep hygiene, let’s all try to be sleep consistency champions!
This regularity helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally. It’s not just about quantity; it’s about the quality of your sleep. So, by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, your body responds with more restful and rejuvenating sleep.
In the name of our sleep hygiene, let’s all try to be sleep consistency champions!
2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine:
Ever feel like your mind is running a marathon right before bedtime? I do! Enter one of the key sleep hygiene tips: a relaxing bedtime routine.
It’s not just about brushing your teeth and hopping into bed; it’s about creating a winding-down ritual that tells your body to activate chill and unwind mode. Choose a few pre-sleep activities that signal to your brain it’s time to shift gears from the chaos of the day to the serenity of sleep.
Use These 15 Bedtime Mantras To Help You Fall Asleep Faster
Establishing a pre-sleep routine, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or doing some gentle stretching, signals to your body that it’s time to wind down.
A few more sleep routine suggestions you may gravitate towards include: gratitude journaling, brewing herbal (non-caffeinated!) tea, mindful breathing, using essential oils for aromatherapy (I especially love lavendar essential oil before bed), doing Yin Yoga or listening to calming music.
Do any of those activities sound appealing to you? Pick a few of them to customize your very own bedtime routine.
3. Optimize Your Sleep Environment
Take a look at your bedroom tonight and determine if there’s any opportunities to better optimize it for your sleeping environment. Maybe your mattress is too soft or too stiff and it’s been disrupting your sleep. Maybe your curtains aren’t thick enough to block out all the light.
Here are some more additional factors to consider:
Keep your bedroom cool and well-ventilated. The ideal sleeping temperature is generally between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius). Experiment with different bedding materials to find what keeps you most comfortable.
Minimize noise disturbances by using earplugs or a white noise machine if you live in a noisy area. Alternatively, consider using soft earplugs or headphones if you prefer listening to calming sounds or music while falling asleep.
Optimizing your sleep environment involves creating a space that’s free from disruptions and helps you feel calm, safe, and relaxed. Experiment with these sleep hygiene tips to find what works best for you, and tailor your sleep environment to promote a restful night’s sleep.
4. Limit Screen Time
Reduce exposure to screens (phones, computers, TVs) at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Try to keep your evening as tech-free as possible! The blue light emitted by screens (phone, tablet, laptop, TV) can interfere with your natural melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep. Consider banning phones, tablets, and computers altogether at least an hour before bedtime.
If you have an existing habit of watching TV before you go to bed (I know many people who watch TV to fall asleep!), try to swap it out with a book, a warm shower or bath, or some other non-tech activity to avoid the screen before sleep.
Trust me, it might seem tough in the beginning but will ultimately make a world of difference for your quality of rest and overall sleep hygiene.
5. Manage Your Stress Levels
While managing stress may sound like the most obvious of the sleep hygiene tips, let’s be real – most of us aren’t doing this to be the best – or most consistent – of our abilities.
Stress can be triggered OR reduced from the types of foods we eat, the amount (or lack) of exercise we’re getting, and other forms of self-care we may or may not be taking time for.
In the hours leading up to your bedtime, try to avoid heavy meals and stimulants like sugar, caffeine, and nicotine. Opt for a light snack if you’re hungry before sleeping.
Engage in regular physical activity, but try to complete intense workouts at least a few hours before bedtime. The calming Yin Yoga that we discussed in #2 is a great activity before bed. But working out in the morning or during the day will also help you fall asleep quicker and sleep better overall.
Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or journaling to help calm your mind before bedtime. Don’t force it – if any of these practices sound daunting to you, skip them and move on to the ones that you feel more in alignment for you.
Add Breathwork to Your Bedtime Yoga Routine for the Ultimate Good Night’s Rest
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Bonus Sleep Hygiene Tip
Your bonus sleep hygiene tip is empty out your mind before you shut your eyes. This could technically fall under my mention of journaling in the previous tip if you have the urge to journal your general feelings or get anything out on the page that’s bothering you.
For me, I’ve also found that sometimes I have an idea or remember a to-do I need to add to my list, after I’ve already gotten into bed. To avoid having to either get out of bed or lay there mulling it over, I keep my journal and sticky notes on my nightstand. That way, when an idea strikes or I remember a to-do, I can jot it down and then relax having the peace of mind that I won’t forget it.
Uplevel Your Sleep Hygiene Routine With These Tried and True Tips!
In the grand symphony our overall wellbeing, sleep hygiene is the unsung hero that can orchestrate harmony in our lives. It’s a holistic approach to crafting an environment and habits that cultivate the best possible slumber.
From consistent sleep schedules to soothing bedtime rituals, each aspect of sleep hygiene plays a crucial role in our physical and mental health. Quality sleep is not a luxury; it’s a fundamental need that fuels our daily vitality and resilience.
Sweet dreams and peaceful nights await those who embrace the art of sleep hygiene!
So, as you embark on the journey of optimizing your sleep hygiene, remember that sweet dreams and peaceful nights await those who embrace the art of sleep hygiene!
Want more help falling asleep? Try This 25-Minute Bedtime Yoga Sequence for Better Sleep (Photo Tutorial)
By incorporating these practices into your daily routine, you can improve the quality of your sleep and support your overall well-being. If any sleep difficulties persist, please consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.
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