If you’re feeling sleepy during the day, or you notice your sleep is disturbed on a regular basis, you may be experiencing poor sleep hygiene. Find out more about sleep hygiene and how you can improve your sleeping technique.
What is sleep hygiene?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is the practices and habits that are necessary for quality sleep.There are four key markers of quality sleep. These are:
- Falling asleep in under 30 minutes.
- Waking up no more than once per night.
- Falling back asleep less than 20 minutes after waking.
- Sleeping at least 85% of the time you’re in bed.
Why is it important to have good sleep hygiene?
With good sleep hygiene, you’ll be alert during the day and retain good physical and mental health. Sleep helps your body to relax and recharge so you can continue to do the things you enjoy or need to do during the day.
Improving sleep hygiene can also improve your productivity, happiness, and quality of life.
5 tips to improve your sleep hygiene
If you struggle to get quality sleep at night, then you can take steps to improve your sleep hygiene, such as:
- Exercising regularly. Even as little as 10 minutes of cardio activity (walking, running, cycling, running on a treadmill, dance class, etc) will improve your sleep hygiene. However, avoid any strenuous exercise too close to your bedtime, as during that time it can have the opposite effect.
- Cut back on stimulants. Caffeine and nicotine are some of the biggest causes of poor sleep hygiene. Avoid these close to your bedtime, and try to cut back on your general consumption. Alcohol, on the other hand, can help you get to sleep, but the sleep you have won’t be high quality.
- Avoid napping. Napping during the daytime should be kept to under 30 minutes. Short naps can help you improve your alertness and performance, but any longer and you can decrease your sleep hygiene.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Go to sleep at the same time each night to get your body used to a routine. An hour before your bedtime, start winding down by turning off devices, having a hot shower or bath, reading a book, or doing some light stretching.
- Make a comfortable sleep environment. Sleep in a dark, cool room without distractions like phones or TV. You may like to try white noise machines, blackout curtains, fans, or a dehumidifier to create the perfect sleep environment.
By practising these techniques and using natural sleep support products designed to help with different sleep issues, such as Sleepezi you can improve your sleep hygiene and feel more alert and relaxed throughout the day.