A good night’s sleep is so important to ensure you live a happy and healthy life; sleep is when your body recuperates, and resting allows you to relax and lower your stress levels. It isn’t always easy to sleep soundly, but there are definitely ways in which you can improve your chances – sleep hygiene being one of them.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is all about having a better environment and a good routine in place to give yourself the best possible chance to get a comfortable and full night’s sleep. You want to make sure you’re sleeping well every night, not just every so often. This is key to great mental and physical health! Below you’ll find five tips to help improve *your* sleep hygiene, and you can adapt them to better fit your lifestyle and personality.
Stick to a routine
One way to improve your sleep hygiene is to stick to a routine – there is a reason we give children a bedtime routine, and it’s important to replicate this in adulthood too. Giving yourself some structure of an evening is a brilliant way to wind down, and it’s up to you what your routine is. Some people like a bath and a hot drink before bed, while others like to engage in some light exercise to get themselves ready to sleep. Whatever your own routine is, sticking to it each evening is a great way to get yourself into the mindset of it being time for bed. Following the same steps each night helps tell your mind that it’s bedtime, so sleep should come much easier to you!
Rid your bedroom of distractions
If you want to really improve your sleep hygiene, your bedroom should be somewhere that is solely dedicated to sleeping – as much as possible, anyway. This isn’t easy if you live somewhere small or in shared accommodation of any sort, but there are definitely ways to rid your room of distractions. Not having a TV, for example, or leaving your laptop in a different room, means you won’t associate your bedroom with entertainment or work. Unplugging from electronics in the bedroom is key to helping your brain switch off, because they can be overstimulating and the bright lights are definitely not conducive to switching off and sleeping…
Make your bed as comfortable as possible
The main component you need for a good night’s sleep is a comfortable bed. This is where the magic happens, and making it as pleasant as possible is key. Opting for breathable bedding will ensure you’re not too hot or too cold, and a pillow that properly supports your head and neck is vital too. And while getting a new mattress will definitely help, if you’re looking to spend less then there is another option you can buy bamboo mattress topper! Adding a mattress topper to your bed will add an extra layer of comfort and support, helping to align your body and offering plenty of benefits to ease you into a deliciously deep sleep. With temperature-regulating properties, as well as being hypoallergenic and an environmentally conscious choice, you can’t go wrong with a bamboo mattress topper. Anything like this that makes you more comfortable at night helps to improve your sleep hygiene.
Improve your daily habits
Sleep hygiene isn’t just about what happens at night time – it’s important to create healthy habits during the day too. Cutting down on caffeine, nicotine and alcohol (especially from the afternoon onwards) will definitely help you drift off a little better of an evening without being disrupted throughout the night. Your body will be healthier in general, which helps aid a good night’s sleep. Getting plenty of daylight and exercise is also linked with better sleep, so incorporating as much of these as possible is really important. Even just going for a walk on your lunch break will help!
Don’t toss and turn
It may seem counterproductive, but if you find yourself not falling asleep with ease then get back up again for a few minutes. Stretch, read a chapter of a book, have a glass of water; take your mind away from the frustration of not having yet fallen asleep. This way, when you get back in bed, you’ll be ready to try again and hopefully sleep will come to you much more easily. You want to cultivate a connection between being in bed, and being asleep – tossing and turning doesn’t help this at all.
Sleep hygiene is really important when it comes to getting a full night’s rest, and therefore living a better and healthier lifestyle. We spend a third of our life asleep, so it makes sense to give ourselves the best chance at making the best of it!