Everyone needs at least six to ten hours of sleep every night to keep a healthy daytime schedule.
Sometimes this can be hard to achieve. Tossing and turning at night with a difficulty to relax is common for insomniacs everywhere.
How can you cope with your nighttime problems and get back on a healthy sleep routine?
Here are some ways that you can improve your sleep hygiene and get back into a normal nighttime schedule.
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is any habits or routines that you get into to help improve your quality of sleep. Although there are plenty of ways we can get energized and start off our day, the only way to truly succeed is by getting a full night of sleep.
Keeping up with healthy habits and ensuring a full night’s sleep is a great way to have good sleep hygiene.
How to Improve Your Sleeping Habits
While some may find some tips more useful than others, there are plenty of different habits and practices you can maintain for a healthy night’s rest. Here are just a few of the different ways that you can improve your nightlife.
Get Rid of Sugar and Caffeine Before Bed
While it’s fine to have in small doses during the day, any stimulant should be kept out of your nighttime routine. This includes any type of sugar and caffeine, regardless of where it comes from.
Candy, caffeinated teas, and coffee should be consumed early in the day to keep you relaxed for bed. Not only can it keep you awake, but the caffeine can also cause interrupted sleep, and stays in your system hours after drinking.
To avoid negative effects, try to keep sugar and coffee consumption in the morning and afternoon.
Don’t Use Electronics Before Bed
While it’s tempting, electronics with strong light sources, including cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, and television should be avoided late at night.
This is because the blue light emitted from various electronics can reduce the production of serotonin in the brain and make us feel more alert. This will make falling and staying asleep incredibly difficult.
By either getting a blue light filter for your devices or cutting electronics out of your nightly routine, you’ll have a better night’s rest.
Avoid Lying Restless in Bed
Do you find yourself lying awake in bed, struggling to fall asleep?
If this is a constant struggle for you, your mind may be associating your bed or bedroom with being awake. Whether it’s because you’re used to watching TV or reading a book in bed, your mind is tricking itself into staying awake; your bed has turned from a place of rest into a hub of activity.
In order to help with these feelings, if you find your mind racing while you lay in bed, get up and move to a chair or couch to think. Be sure not to use your electronics during this time, or you’ll stimulate your mind more, which you are trying to avoid. Instead, use the time to meditate until you feel relaxed again. This will encourage your brain to view bedtime as a time to actively rest and refresh itself rather than a place to be alert.
Your bedroom should be a place just for sleep to convince your brain to rest at appropriate hours. Using your bedroom for anything else is considered poor sleep hygiene and can affect the quality of your sleep drastically.
Keep the Air In Your Room Clean and Fresh
Is your room often stuffy and uncomfortable? This may be causing you issues during sleep.
To help with airflow and to make the temperature more comfortable, try opening a window or otherwise allowing a current of air in your bedroom. The fresh air will help your mind relax at the end of the day and keep you sleeping peacefully.
Along with keeping the air clean, it’s also important to keep the temperature comfortable for sleeping. Usually, this means the cooler it is in your room, the better; having the ability to easily bundle up under the covers without becoming uncomfortable will make it easier to fall asleep.
The ideal sleeping temperature is usually considered as somewhere between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, though this can change depending on the individual. Find what works for you, and try to stick with it!
Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Having an exact bedtime shouldn’t end after childhood; by setting an exact schedule for yourself and sticking to it, you can train your brain to want to rest at certain times of the day. To help with this, avoiding napping during the day can keep you tired and ready for rest at the correct time.
You don’t have to be exact, though you should try to keep yourself within a half an hour of your usual bedtime each night; this will keep you consistent and help encourage your mind to become tired when you want it to.
Exercise Regularly During the Day
Having an exercise routine can not only keep you active during the day but help ease your mind at night. By doing some form of physical activity at least three hours before bedtime on a daily basis, you can help your mind be relaxed by bedtime and stay stimulated during the day.
Keep Your Room Quiet and Dark
Darkness is crucial for a healthy night’s sleep, as is peace and quiet. Your mind will become too stimulated to rest properly with any light or noise in the room and will make it very hard to fall and stay asleep.
While pitch blackness isn’t necessary, your room should at least be dim, and you should avoid too much excess noise during the night.
It’s also useful to steadily dim the amount of light in your home leading up to bedtime; this will trick your mind into believing that bedtime is coming soon, and will begin to relax your body before you get into bed.
Avoid Clock Watching in Bed
While we are usually determined to keep an eye on the clock during the day, having a clock on display in your bedroom can be detrimental to your sleep hygiene. By constantly glancing at the clock, you may end up finding yourself anxious about going to sleep on time, which will stimulate your brain and keep you from relaxing.
Instead, figure out a regular bedtime routine for yourself and stick to a consistent sleep schedule so that you won’t need to look at a clock. You can also have an alarm set up ahead of bedtime to cut down on stress.
Avoid Alcohol, Excessive Water Drinking and Large Meals Before Bed
While you should try to avoid going to bed on an empty stomach, eating or drinking too much before bed can make sleeping very uncomfortable. It can also force you into waking in the middle of the night for bathroom trips.
If you are hungry before bed, crackers, toast, or similar food high in carbs are a great option; they encourage the release of serotonin, which will help to bring sleep quickly. By keeping any food or liquid consumption late at night light, you will keep yourself comfortable and content for proper rest.
Alcohol specifically should be avoided as much as possible before bed, as well as tobacco products and other harmful substances. If you do need to take them, try to keep their consumption at least three hours before bedtime, just as you would with caffeine or sugar.
This is because all of these substances lead to fitful, restless nights of sleep; even if alcohol may make you sleepy at first, don’t be fooled. Your rest will be disturbed, and leave you feeling groggy and potentially sick in the morning.
Improve the Comfort of Your Mattress or Bed
If you find yourself constantly tossing and turning in bed, the problem may be something aside from your sleeping habits. Changing up your bedding or mattress altogether may be what you need to improve your sleep.
Perhaps a mattress replacement isn’t in your future; the Polysleeps antimicrobial mattress topper may be the solution for you! Mattress toppers are made to add an extra level of comfort to your mattress and get you sleeping better in no time.
Healthy Habits to Help You Sleep
There are certain activities that you can perform before bed to help you relax. Meditation, baths, and ASMR have all been shown to improve relaxation before sleeping. If ASMR is your thing, of course, still try to keep away from the light of whatever electronics you use, or consider the use of a blue light filter to help you sleep better.
Have a Healthier, Happier Sleep
By keeping on top of your sleep hygiene, you will find yourself better rested in the morning and ready to go about your daily life. Make sure you stick to your newfound routines to keep yourself going strong!
Have you found yourself having troubles with your sleep, and feel exhausted in the morning?
Test out a few of these tips for yourself and get on track to a healthy and happy life!