Are you getting your recommended seven or more hours of sleep each night? Because around 35% of Americans aren’t.
Poor sleep hygiene will lead to fatiguing days, potential caffeine addictions, ill health, and sometimes premature death. So, if you’re not prioritizing your sleep, why not?
Sorting out your sleep hygiene will make your life infinitely more straightforward, and you’ll no longer find yourself reaching for your third cup of coffee at 10 am. However, it’s sometimes easier said than done.
Luckily you’ve come to the right place; we’re here to lay down some easy steps to ensure you get a good night’s sleep every night.
Read on to find out more.
Set a Routine
The best thing you can do to improve your sleep quality is to create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
You should allow at least one hour for your wind-down time in the evenings, and this will teach your body that it’s nearly time to sleep, and you’ll start to feel naturally sleepy.
Some things you can include in your bedtime routine are:
- Consider what tasks you need to get done tomorrow
- Turn all the unnecessary lights and devices off
- Think about what went well today/practice gratitude
- Lock all the doors and windows
- Brush your teeth and floss
- Prepare your clothes for tomorrow
- Set up your kitchen ready for breakfast
- Prepare your bedroom for sleep
- Say goodnight to family members
- Wash your face
The list goes on… of course, not all of these things will feel important to you. Pick and choose the tasks you think will help you wind down at night and incorporate them into your bedtime routine.
Optimize Your Sleep Environment
Aside from optimizing your sleep schedule, you also need to ensure your bedroom environment is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Consider all your senses and make adjustments wherever possible:
- Sight: is your room dark?
- Sound: is your room quiet?
- Smell: would an essential oil diffuser help calm you?
- Taste: is your mouth clean?
- Touch: is your bedding clean and comfy?
By listing the senses one by one, you’ll identify any areas that may stop you from getting the sleep you need. Prioritize your bedroom environment; you should be spending around 50 hours a week in there after all.
Try Sleep Supplements
If you’re looking for external factors to help you sleep, there are plenty of options. First, there are sleeping tablets. You should take caution with sleeping tablets because they are addictive and may make you feel groggy the following day.
Although they certainly help you get to sleep, they don’t necessarily help your sleep hygiene in the long run. Try to avoid taking sleeping tablets unless your doctor recommends that you do.
A more natural option is melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that your body naturally secretes to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. However, if your circadian rhythm has been inconsistent for a while, your melatonin production may have been stunted.
You can buy melatonin tablets to help improve your natural hormone secretions and get you back to a normal circadian rhythm. Take it an hour before bed and ensure you always take it at the same time each night for the best effect.
A final natural option to improve your sleep hygiene is CBD. The evidence for CBD improving sleep, anxiety, and overall health is relatively new but seems incredibly promising.
Many people claim that CBD has changed their lives for the better, and in some countries, it’s even prescribable. Consider purchasing premium hemp flowers that contain CBD to help you sleep at night.
Minimize Electronic Stimulation
Electronic stimulation may be the culprit if you feel like you’re doing everything right, but you still don’t understand how to improve sleep quality.
Electronic devices activate the dopamine (pleasure-seeking) areas of the brain and cause you to feel awake. Furthermore, cell phones emit blue light — this tricks your brain into a heightened state of alertness.
So, even if it’s dark outside, your brain will still be working as if it’s daytime. You should try to turn off all electronic devices at least one to two hours before it’s time for bed.
If you often need to check your phone quickly, activate ‘night mode’ to automatically come on after 9 pm. Night mode helps reduce blue light emissions so your brain won’t be triggered to produce extra dopamine.
Try Relaxation Audio
Finally, if you find it difficult to ‘switch off’ at night and find your mind racing, you may benefit from listening to a relaxing audiotape. There are many different kinds of sleep time audio you can try out. These include:
- Short stories for sleep
- White noise
- Calming music
- Your favorite audiobook
Listening to something to get you off to sleep can be very helpful. However, make sure that what you’re listening to isn’t too interesting — you want to sleep after all.
If your phone has a ‘sleep timer,’ set it to turn off after 30 minutes of playback to ensure you don’t get disturbed during the night. Over time, as sleep becomes more natural to you, you can wean yourself off audio.
Fix Your Poor Sleep Hygiene With These Tips
That’s everything you need to know if you’re looking to improve your poor sleep hygiene. If you follow these steps carefully, you’ll soon find that your nights are peaceful and your days are energy-filled.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to prioritize your sleep hygiene for a happier life.
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