Sleep Hygiene: 7 Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep hygiene: 7 tips for a better night's sleep

There are many factors that affect how we sleep. From our room temperature to what we ate the day before. The so-called sleep hygiene arose from the research into these factors and their influence on our sleep. This is  a set of recommendations that advocate a healthy lifestyle and promote habits that result in more relaxed and more effective sleep.

Sleeping is one of the most important activities we do in our lives. Hence the importance of waking up energized and rested, and making sure that our trouble falling asleep gets less day by day. Do you want to know how to do this? Here we give you seven basic guidelines for a better night’s sleep.

Keep a daily schedule for good sleep hygiene

Sleep is routine and likes stability. That’s why your body will benefit if you get up and go to bed around the same time every day, including weekends. It’s no use sleeping five hours every night Monday through Friday and eight hours on Saturday and Sunday, because your sleep can neither catch up nor compensate.

While it is true that you sleep more during childhood and adolescence and less in old age; every adult needs a different amount of sleep. Most people need between six and eight hours, but this varies depending on personal circumstances and work conditions. Therefore, it is good to observe yourself for several weeks to find out how much sleep you need to feel full of energy.

Woman who turns off her wake up after a good night's sleep

It is better to wake up earlier than to go to bed later

Pay attention! The amount of sleep is just as important as its quality. Even if you sleep for seven hours, it’s not the same if you went to bed at six in the morning or at eleven at night. The body is programmed to know that when the sun comes up, it’s time to get up.

The body releases melatonin during the evening, which is why we start to feel tired and sleepy. But if your body is constantly forced to change its circadian rhythm, it can cost you dearly. It has even been shown that people who work at night can develop serious heart problems, eventually leading to heart attacks.

Try to eat less from noon

When we think of stimulant foods, we often mention coffee. But that’s not the only drink that activates us: tea and carbonated drinks can also keep us from falling asleep. You should be especially careful about consuming these types of drinks after lunch and, of course, avoid them during dinner.

Similarly, chocolate is a stimulant that may prevent you from falling asleep or make you wake up earlier. In addition, it is good to reduce or avoid the use of alcohol or other hypnotic substances.

In general, carbohydrates put us to sleep, while proteins keep us awake. That is why it is better to eat a salad in the evening than a piece of fillet, also because it is much easier to digest.

Get regular exercise

Exercise is good for improving fitness or avoiding lack of exercise, as well as being a great way to relax and relieve tension. Therefore, this is another measure that promotes sleep hygiene: exercising regularly and at medium intensity. Because exercising not only keeps us in shape, but also makes it easier to ensure that our problems don’t deprive us of our sleep.

Yes. It is essential to pass at least two hours after exercise before going to bed. Generating endorphins keeps our bodies alert and it is not recommended to go to bed with a high heart rate. It is better to calm down first and then go to sleep peacefully.

Woman running along the coast

Avoid stimulating activities several hours before going to bed

In addition to exercising, going to bed after watching an action movie, or after getting worked up over some television program, affects our level of physical activation. Numerous experts have shown that the habit of watching television or movies increases the incidence of insomnia, especially among young people aged 18 to 32.

That is why it is advisable to do just the opposite: choose relaxing activities before going to bed, to benefit sleep hygiene. For example, putting on background music, taking a warm bath, reading a light book or doing breathing exercises. Our body will be happy with that the next day.

Your pillow is not your best counselor

Sleep hygiene does not regard the bed as a psychological consultation, nor the pillow as a therapist. That is, if you have concerns that keep you from falling asleep, it is better to get up and talk to your partner than to toss and turn in bed for hours without falling asleep.

When it comes to things to do the next day and especially not to forget, we recommend that you write them down in a notebook or notebook and thus ‘liberate’ your mind from this responsibility.

A room in perfect condition

The condition of our room can have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep. The most suitable conditions for our bedroom are the following:

  • Calm and relaxed atmosphere : it is useful if all roommates go to bed at the same time. If we are already in bed, ready to go to sleep, and we keep hearing the fan on a child’s computer or the football game on television in the living room, then the peace will be interrupted.
  • Not too cold, not too hot : it is good to keep the room temperature around 21 degrees. It is better that it is a few degrees less than more. In a humid environment it can be a good solution to turn on the dehumidifier a few hours before going to bed.
  • It’s Better To Sleep Completely In The Dark : Although electrical devices can make this habit difficult, as the mere brightness of a screen or LED can penalize our REM phase or the segregation of melatonin in our bodies.
Man who sleeps well thanks to good sleep hygiene

All these habits that benefit sleep hygiene have a very positive impact on both the quality of sleep and the amount of hours we sleep. However, now they will not solve situations of chronic insomnia. In that case, these tips act as an aid to other therapeutic treatments. 

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