The quality of your sleep hygiene can make or break how well you get some shut-eye at night; it all falls down to bedroom environment and routine. So, if you struggle to rest easily at night, you will likely have poor sleep hygiene. Having poor sleep hygiene can lead to feeling exhausted during the day, which poses a risk to your safety as well as the safety of others; in fact, drowsy driving is one of the many risks of insufficient sleep, which leads to over 6,000 fatal car accidents every year in the U.S. Thankfully, experts at Hush. have provided five tips to improve sleep hygiene to ensure you catch some Zs at night.
Understanding sleep hygiene and how to improve it for a better night’s rest
Be consistent with your bedtime routine
Never underestimate the importance of a bedtime schedule – consistency is vital to help your body’s circadian rhythm match your desired bedtime. Going to bed simultaneously and repeating steps like brushing your teeth before bed will allow your body to associate sleep with your routine to release melatonin, the sleep hormone (NCBI).
Allow time for relaxation
Instead of turning on the TV to watch your favorite show or using your phone just before bed, opt for a wind-down period that requires no screens. The blue light from screens delays melatonin production, thus affecting your sleep hygiene by preventing you from getting into a deep sleep quickly. So it’s best to prepare for the night by eliminating this. Try delving into a book or even having a warm bath – once you get out, your body cools quickly and imitates the natural cooling that happens when your body prepares for sleep to help you feel more tired.
Add exercise to your daily routine
Exercising regularly isn’t only beneficial for your physical health; it can actually have a positive impact on your sleep hygiene, too. Incorporating moderate-to-vigorous exercise into your daily routine increases time spent in deep sleep by using up lots of energy, making you feel fatigued. However, keep the last three hours before you go to bed free of exercise to avoid increased heart rate, body temperature, and adrenaline that make you feel more awake.
Eliminate light and noise
Blocking light and noise isn’t as simple as closing the drapes and keeping your bedroom door shut. It may do the trick to an extent, but there are still ways for both light and noise to creep into your bedroom and disrupt your sleep at night. Investing in a blackout curtain prevents light from disrupting melatonin production or even wearing a blackout eye mask. As for noise, consider a white noise machine that covers up irregular sounds by creating steady and soothing background noises, such as static or ocean waves.
Ensure your bedroom is a cool temperature
While you may expect that a warm bedroom will allow you to get comfortable and sleep well, it’s actually better for your sleep hygiene to sleep in a cool environment. Doing so reinforces your body’s natural instinct to sleep, as our temperature drops near bedtime as a signal to get some rest. As well as this, a cool bedroom regulates your body temperature to prevent any disruptions and also promotes melatonin production. So, if your bedroom is toasty, consider adding a fan to your bedroom, leaving your window open, or even drinking water a few hours before bed to reap the benefits of its cooling effect.
A spokesperson from Hush. commented:
“Sleep is a vital part of our daily routine, and while many may think that a cup of coffee can help on those days suffering from little sleep, it’s only a short-term solution. Understanding the importance of good quality sleep hygiene is crucial, as lack of rest can lead to many problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. With these simple tips, you can drastically improve your sleep hygiene to ensure that you are well rested at night.”