Tiny tips to help you get the sleep you need
A good night’s sleep is just as, if not more, important than a good diet and exercise regime. So, are you getting the recommended 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night ⁽¹⁾? However one of the causes of insomnia is known to be worrying about not sleeping, so it is important to remember that missing the occasional night is not a big deal and that there are lots of ways to improve your sleep, for example here are some sleep hygiene tips to help you improve the snooze.
Sleep Hygiene 101
Sleep hygiene is the cascade of habits that influences the quantity and quality of sleep you get each night. And good sleep hygiene is pivotal if you want good sleep. But why is it so important to catch those elusive Zs?
Sleep directly affects many, if not all of our bodily functions. When you get enough sleep, you can lower risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses ⁽²’³’⁴⁾ so it’s worth working on it, but not worth getting worried about it.
Sleep is essential for emotional regulation and mental well-being. Poor sleep quality is linked to many mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression ⁽⁵’⁶’⁷⁾. So seek help if you are struggling.
😴Safety and performance
Good quality sleep isn’t just helpful for our productivity, but also our safety on the road and at work ⁽⁸’⁹⁾. Catching enough Zs also enhances concentration, boost memory, and maximize athletic performance ⁽¹⁰’¹¹’¹²⁾.
Tips for better sleep
As we said before a few nights of lost sleep is unavoidable and normal at times. So, don’t worry too much as that worry may contribute to sleeplessness itself. However, having routines that can increase our chances of a good night’s sleep will make us feel much better, focus better and feel happier. Let’s explore some effective strategies to enhance your sleep hygiene and experience the rejuvenating rest you truly deserve.
✅ Keep a consistent schedule
Promote a healthy sleep-wake cycle by going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time every day ⁽¹³⁾. You should also aim for at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
✅ Relax and unwind
About 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime, engage in activities that help your body and mind relax, such as:
- Breathing exercises ⁽¹⁴⁾
- Warm baths or showers ⁽¹⁵⁾
- Light stretching ⁽¹⁶⁾
- Meditation ⁽¹⁷⁾
Put away those screens for at least half an hour before bedtime. The blue light from our electronic devices reduces the hormones (melatonin) needed to promote good sleep. Not only that, the buzzing notifications can be disruptive ⁽¹⁸⁾.
✅ Kick the caffeine
Your mid-day coffee is also a huge culprit as to why you can’t get your much-needed shut-eye. It’s said that caffeine stays in your system even 3 to 6 hours after you consume it ⁽¹⁹⁾. Hence, it’s worth limiting your caffeine intake in the afternoon and the evening.
✅ Fix the room
An optimal environment for sleep should be cool, dark, and quiet. Aim for a room temperature of somewhere around 18°C. You may also want to keep your sleep environment dark with blackout curtains or by using an eye mask ⁽²⁰⁾.
Your habits throughout the day have a huge impact on your nightly rest. So, these few mini-adjustments to your daily routine can help boost the quality of your sleep. However, if issues with your sleep persist, consult your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing it.