‘Sleep Hygiene! What on Earth is that?’, you may be asking yourself. Fear not, in this quick guide we are going to explain this concept and give you five easy methods for making sure your sleep is as hygienic as possible.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene consists of all of your rituals and behaviours associated with sleep. It relates to your bedroom set up, how often you stay up late or have a lay-in, it also revolves around your pre-sleep activities and explores what you get up to in your bed. It looks at your sleep schedule, caffeine intake, and attitude.
Now you know what it is, how can you improve it?
Tip one: Set up your bedroom
The human body likes to sleep in the dark, in a cool and aerated space, with little to no noise, on a comfortable but firm mattress. The opposite of this can be very harmful to your sleep hygiene - light, hot, noisy, and uncomfortable. If your room is not set up to help you sleep, it could be the reason you rarely feel rested.
Tip two: Lay off the afternoon coffee & alcohol
Coffee is designed to wake you up, not help you sleep, so even if you enjoy an evening coffee and can still sleep, your brain will find it much harder to enter REM sleep and deep sleep.
The same goes for alcohol, it may help you get to sleep, but it prevents you from getting the quality sleep that your body is crying out for.
Tip three: Sleeping and lovemaking
Your bed should be used for two things, sleeping and lovemaking. Beyond that, you should try to stay out of it. Use your sofa if you want a comfy place to sit.
Tip four: Maintain a sleep schedule
This might be the hardest tip to follow. If you get up at 06:00 AM during the week for work, the odds that you’ll want to get up at 06:00 AM at the weekend are… slim to none.
However, maintaining a routine is good for your sleep hygiene, as long as you are going to bed at a reasonable time. Having a lay-in at the weekend is not great for your sleep cycle and makes Mondays so much harder!
Tip five: Exercise and get outdoors!
Much like coffee tricks your brain in waking up, sunlight is actually a natural trigger for your mind so that it knows when it’s time to be alert and awake.
Spending time outdoors and doing exercise gets your body into a natural wake-sleep rhythm. You have the added benefit of being more worn out when you do try to sleep.
There you go, some important sleep hygiene tips for you to work on!