Sleep hygiene is not only a good way to improve the quality and quantity of sleep, but is also one of the best ways to prevent insomnia.
Many of us acquire bad sleeping behavior and habits which greatly impairs our ability to get a good night’s rest.What this leads to is poor productivity and with it can pose serious health risks.
According to the psychologists’ definition, “sleep hygiene refers to all the practices and activities necessary for you to have a normal, quality night time sleep and full daytime alertness.”
Simply put, sleep hygiene are the habits and behaviors we have regarding sleep the environment in which we do so.
1) Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! Exercising regularly in the outdoors improves how many hours you get to sleep and the quality of the sleep as well. Activities such as brisk walks and jogs increase the heart rate which in turn works with the body later in the evening in enabling you to sleep better. However, avoid exercising late into the night as it causes sleeplessness due to high energy levels.
2) Make sure that the room you sleep is dark when going to bed. Refrain from turning on the lights at any time during the night as doing so disrupts the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain and is in charge of maintaining your internal biological clock. If your sleeping patterns are disrupted frequently, it could lead t chronic insomnia.
3) Maintain a regular bed time and ensure it is done before midnight if possible. According to experts any hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight.
4) After a hard and/or stressful day a work, try to relax before bed.
5) Avoid taking huge/heavy meals for dinner.
6) Keep all electronics away from the room. Electronics produce electromagnetic radiation which negatively affects the production of melatonin as you sleep and cause havoc to your sleep patterns. Good sleep hygiene requires that you keep television sets, radios, mobile phones, computers and I-pads in another room.
7) Refrain from taking caffeine and caffeine related products before bed. These stimulants include coffee, tea and chocolates. Antihistamines should also be avoided
8) Steer clear of drugs of any kind as they cause insomnia. This includes alcohol and cigarettes. While alcohol is known to induce sleep, too much of it, regularly, can result in chronic insomnia. On the other hand, Smoking in the room you sleep in can also cause insomnia. If you must, ensure that you have your last at least 3 hours before you sleep in another room other than the one you sleep in.
9) Ensure that your room is good ventilation. This is important as it can lead to snoring which not only just affects you but other as well.
10) Avoid taking afternoon power naps or even early evening ones.
11) Because insomnia is caused by too much blood in your head, apply a wet cold cloth to the back of your head and neck and don’t dry it just before bed.
12) Apply a wet warm cloth to the upper part of your stomach for more than ten minutes.
13) Get yourself “in the mood” by using natural fiber linens when sleeping. Don’t use a heavy blanket or duvet. Instead ensure that you have your nightwear on and sleep.
14) Try sleeping in another room or sleep facing where your feet normally are (Put your head where your feet normally are and sleep)
15) Avoid reading and watching things that can get your excited. Excitement is not good at night at all….it can lead to a sleeplessness night.
These are a few tips and tricks you can use today to improve your sleep hygiene. Saving the best for last and perhaps the most popular, never go to bed angry. Try to work out and resolve your anger before you go to bed.