Sleep hygiene refers to those practices that either aid or deter your ability to have a restful sleep.
Adopting healthy sleep hygiene entails following beneficial routines such as maintaining a comfortable bed, suitable pillow and controlling the room temperature.
Conversely, poor sleep hygiene involves adhering to routines that are detrimental to your sleep, leading to difficulties falling asleep and waking up with a headache.
Benefits of Good Sleep Hygiene
- Quality sleep: By practising good sleep hygiene, you’re automatically guaranteed a comfortable and restful sleep. It enhances the quality of your sleep, boosts your energy level as you engage in your daily activities.
- Cognitive functions: Adequate sleep plays an essential role in the effective functioning of the brain. Following a long day of work, the brain becomes exhausted and needs proper rest to operate at its maximum capacity. Lack of proper rest slows down the brain and body functions, leading to a less productive day.
- Prevents sleep disorders: Practising good sleep hygiene helps to safeguard the body from developing sleep disorders such as insomnia.
- Physical strength: Enhanced sleep aids the overall well-being of the body system. It allows the body to recuperate and rejuvenate. Additionally, It strengthens the immune system, empowering the body to fight against infections and illnesses.
Other benefits include:
- reduced risk of heart infections
- Prevention diabetes
- Mitigation of stroke risks
How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
- Stick to a sleep schedule: Have a specific sleep and wake-up time for each day. When the body adheres to a certain routine, the brain becomes programmed, making it easier to maintain. By setting up a specific sleep schedule, you train your body to sleep at a consistent time. Aim to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day to reinforce this pattern.
- Do not skip sleep: It may be tempting to tell yourself you can finish a task and you catch up on sleep later. This approach can however lead to unfavourable consequences. It’s thus essential to prioritise getting proper sleep every day to avoid potential issues.
- Keep your bedroom cool: This means your bedroom has to be your safe space. Choose comfortable bedsheets and pillow case that make you eager to snug in. Keep your duvet properly tucked in or folded for a neat appearance. It’s also recommended to create a conducive sleep environment by keeping the room dark and quiet, as excessive noise could disrupt your sleep.
- Keep your gadgets away: As bedtime approaches, it becomes important to set aside your gadgets such as phones, laptops and TVs. Instead, focus on activities that prepare your body for sleep, such as taking a shower or changing into your pyjamas. By disconnecting from screens and engaging in calming routines, you can promote more restful sleep.
- Limit napping: Excessive naps during the day wears the body out and can make it difficult to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Avoid tossing and turning: If you find yourself in bed for a long period without being able to sleep, don’t keep tossing around on the bed. Instead, get up and engage in calming activities, like stretching, until you feel relaxed. Once you feel more at ease, attempt to go back to sleep again.
Things to Avoid for Good Sleep Hygiene
- Refrain from eating close to bedtime.
- Do not take caffeine or any other foods containing caffeine a few hours before sleep.
- Do not make a mess of your bed or room.
- Resist the urge to check your gadgets whenever you’re preparing to sleep.
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