EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SLEEP HYGIENE
What is Sleep Hygiene?
The term Sleep Hygiene simply refers to the practice of getting healthy and timely sleep. It also includes activities that need to be adhered to for this.
Sleeping for 7-9 hours every day is very important to keep your mind and body healthy. This is because the body detoxifies and regenerates when we’re asleep. Troubled sleep is generally characterized with frequently disturbed sleep, tossing and turning and waking up tired. Sleep hygiene works to cure all of this through ambient temperature, calm surroundings, adequate darkness and a comfortable bed.
The most important thing for getting an optimal amount of sleep is understanding your body’s sleep requirement. Analyze your sleeping habits over a week or two to determine this. For this, keep track of how long you sleep every night and your energy levels in the day.
Sleep Hygiene in the Daily Routine
Having determined your body’s sleep requirement, make a sleep schedule that accommodates it. You can do that by establishing a fixed time to sleep and wake up. Try to stick to this as much as possible. In case you sleep later than your bedtime on a particular day, don’t let that be a reason to change the time of waking up.
If you take naps in the day, be mindful of the duration. While daytime naps can boost productivity, long ones can inhibit sleep at night.
Avoid taking heavy meals a few hours before you sleep. Dinner should be consumed 3-4 hours before sleeping.
Fulfil your water requirement during the day and to avoid drinking a lot of water at night. Needing to get up to pee frequently also inhibits sleep.
Avoid caffeine intake in the evening, especially after sunset. Heavy alcohol consumption in the late hours can also inhibit sleep.
Exercise can boost the metabolism and tire your body, sometimes letting you sleep better. If you’re someone who indulges in a regular workout, make sure you do it 3-4 hours before you have to sleep.
Sleep Hygiene in Bedtime Habits
Have a fixed place for sleeping, don’t keep changing it. Stick to a comfortable bed.
Avoid spending long periods on your phone right before you sleep.
Either turn off or stop using gadgets like laptops, mobiles, televisions, etc. 30-45 minutes before you sleep. The light from these can act as a sleep inhibitor.
When you go to bed, make sure your room is dark and the temperature is comfortable.
Keep your sleeping environment noise and distraction-free. If that isn’t possible, you can use white noise or soothing sounds to negate the other distracting noise.
Being calm and stress-free is very important for sleeping well. If you aren’t able to fall asleep for 20 minutes after you get into bed, do something to calm yourself. Guided meditation, mindfulness practices, etc. can all help to do that.
Just because you’re able to function on 4-5 hours of sleep doesn’t mean your body is taking it well. Consider this: sleep is a very important fuel that your body needs to function. So if you don’t give your body enough fuel, how will it function well?