Getting an adequate amount of sleep plays a crucial role in one’s overall health – including both physical and mental health. Practicing good sleeping habits has been said to greatly improve one’s focus and concentration. Additionally, it also strengthens one’s immune system, reducing one’s risk of suffering from different health conditions.
According to a recent study, it has been shown that approximately 50% of individuals have started to experience sleep disturbances when the coronavirus lockdown and pandemic has started.
Sleep hygiene is a term used to define one’s habits, routines, and practices regularly that allow one person to sleep better. A fundamental practice and an important factor in sleep hygiene include getting the right amount of sleep every single night. Not getting enough sleep, or getting too much of it can greatly affect one’s health. According to experts, the ideal sleeping length for adults ranges between 7 – 9 hours.
Just like other practices, one of the most important factors in helping improve one’s sleeping patterns is by figuring out various activities and strategies that allow you to experience deep sleep. One may experiment to find the most optimal strategies for them to achieve restorative sleep. Here are some suggestions that you may try and see which among these may work for you.
1. Make it a habit.
The body has a circadian rhythm – in layman’s terms, this is the body’s sleep and wake cycle. This cycle mainly depends on the body’s routine, and it doesn’t adapt well to changes. By consistently practicing a nightly routine, you’re telling your body that it’s time for it to go to bed. Doing so will give your body an idea that it needs to prepare to rest. How can you prepare your body for a restful night?
Simple – establish a sleep and wake cycle. Incorporate relaxing and soothing rituals such as drinking a nice and warm cup of herbal tea, relaxation, meditation, putting on your PJs, taking a warm bath, or brushing your teeth. All of these activities can trigger your brain, so it can tell your body that it’s time to go to bed.
2. Minimize stimulant intake.
Sugar, nicotine, and caffeine are stimulants that can affect your sleep. If you’re having trouble initiating sleep, make sure that you avoid these stimulants a couple of hours before trying to sleep. Even better, you may want to minimize your intake of these stimulants all throughout the day. Instead of drinking coffee, consider drinking a herbal tea, or some decaf after noon. If you have a sweet tooth and wanted to have something sweet, try grabbing a piece of fruit, or some treats with low sugar content.
3. Don’t eat before going to bed.
Considering eating smaller portions of food before going to bed can help you sleep better. Food’s primary function is to make sure that the body has enough energy. With that being said, if you sleep with a full stomach, your digestive system may be well-stimulated, and this could cause sleeping problems. Ideally, your last meal for the day should be at least 2 hours before bedtime. However, if you do feel hungry and you find yourself grabbing a bite, opt for a light snack, something that contains proteins and/or carbohydrates which are crucial enzymes in releasing melatonin.
4. Red light for your nightstand.
Light plays a crucial role in both supporting and suppressing your melatonin. This is your sleep hormone. For better sleep and wake cycles, take at least 30 minutes of sunlight every day. At night, try to make keep it as dark as much as possible. You may use curtains, or eye masks to achieve this goal. Prevent the use of gadgets or even television screens. Additionally, you may also consider using red light (instead of blue), promoting better sleep.
5. Make sure you have an optimal sleeping environment.
One of the most important things to take into consideration when it comes to sleeping is a good sleeping environment. Choose a comfortable pillow and Costco mattress. Make sure your sheets are breathable – and do whatever it takes to feel comfortable as you slumber away. You may also want to make sure that the room’s temperature is just right. You may want to work on your room’s airflow by slightly opening windows in the morning. You may also consider using air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and diffusers. If you’re in a noisy neighborhood, getting a good pair of noise-canceling headphones might be a great tool to help you achieve that deep sleep you’ve always wanted