A Sleep Hygiene Checklist
There are plenty of things that you can do to improve your quality of sleep and better your sleep hygiene. Here are some of the best things to start doing from Slumber Search experts:
- Have a Routine
The first thing you want to do is come up with a routine. You want to have and maintain an optimized sleep routine. Your body has an internal clock. This clock will regulate your sleep and wake cycles. Because of this, you want to optimize it as much as possible. This will impact how it regulates your mood and body temperature. Developing consistency with your sleep and wake cycle is one of the best ways to ensure your body is regulated as well as possible.
To effectively improve your sleep and wake cycle, you’ll want to stick to going to sleep and waking up at the same time daily. This means no sleeping in on the weekends. There is no such thing as “make-up sleep.” You also want to ensure you are going to sleep at the same time every night. However, don’t force yourself if you aren’t tired one night. Sitting in bed and trying to go to sleep is only going to hinder your sleep and wake cycles. It’s going to make you increasingly anxious and cause you to be unable to fall asleep. Instead, get up and out of bed and wait till you get sleepy again.
- Avoid Caffeine
It’s always a good idea to avoid caffeine whenever you are suffering from sleep issues. While you can drink coffee in the morning, try to avoid drinking it too late in the afternoon. It can continue to affect you a good 6 hours after drinking it. Because of this, try to avoid drinking it a minimum of 6 hours before your bedtime.
- Create a Better Sleep Environment
The environment you sleep in can directly impact the quality of your sleep. You want to keep your bedroom temperature optimized. You want to keep the temperature in your bedroom anywhere from 60 to 67 degrees Farenheight. Your body needs to be cool to fall asleep. If you are suffering from poor quality sleep because of loud noises stemming from outside, it’s best to play some white noise when you are trying to sleep. This consistent noise can drown out the sudden and unpredictable noises from outside and make it easier to go to sleep. You also want to invest in some blackout blinds or a high-quality sleep mask to block out light.
- Limit Your Bed Use
Avoid doing anything in bed other than going to sleep and having sex. You want your mind and body to associate the act of getting into bed with going to sleep.
- Avoid Screens
It’s best to avoid using any electronics while in bed. If you are going to use any electronics, try not to use the screens. You can listen to music or play an audiobook, but try to avoid using the screens due to blue light exposure. Blue light can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
- Relax Before Bed
Come up with a relaxing routine that you can do on a nightly basis. This can help prime your body and mind to go to sleep easier. It could be something as simple as reading a book, taking a hot shower, or even doing some meditation.
- Get Up If You Can’t Sleep
Don’t sit there in bed when you can’t get to sleep. It’s best to get out of bed and then lay in bed when you’re unable to fall asleep. Try to get up and do something until you feel tired enough to sleep.
Some Other Sleep Tips:
– Get Natural Light
It’s always a good idea to do things that can better align your body’s internal clock. When you first get up, try to go for a walk outdoors. Exposure to sunlight as soon as you wake up can help you optimize your internal clock to make it easier to fall asleep at night.
– Avoid Napping
Don’t nap after 2 in the afternoon. It’s best to avoid napping altogether. However, if you are going to nap, keep your naps under 30 minutes.
– Avoid Checking The Time
You may be having difficulties going to sleep at night because you are overly anxious. If so, you’ll want to avoid anything that could cause more anxiety. For many, this means checking the clock at night.
– Avoid Overeating
If you are looking to go to sleep soon, avoid stuffing yourself. If needed, eat something small and light.
– Avoid Drinking Too Much
It’s best not to drink too much water before you go to sleep at night. While staying hydrated is always good, you don’t want to be waking up every 30 minutes at night to go to the bathroom.