Sleep Hygiene: 7 Tips For Better Sleep

Sleep hygiene: 7 tips for better sleep

There are a lot of factors that can affect our sleep. From the temperature in the room to the previous day’s dinner. The study of these factors and their influence on sleep provided knowledge of what is known as sleep hygiene.

Sleeping is one of the most important activities in our life. It’s about waking up refreshed and rested. And many of us would like to leave our problems falling and staying asleep in the past. That is why we are making a number of recommendations here that are intended to encourage habits that promote peaceful and restful sleep. We give you seven tips to help you sleep better.

Keeping a routine

Sleep is routine and needs stability. This way, your body will benefit from getting up and going to sleep at the same time every day, including on the weekends. There is no point in sleeping just five hours from Monday to Friday and ten hours on Saturdays and Sundays, because sleep cannot be made up and a lack of sleep cannot be compensated for.

It is true that you need more sleep in childhood and adolescence and less sleep in old age, but every adult has their own sleep needs. Most people need between six and eight hours of sleep, but this varies widely depending on personal circumstances and working conditions. Therefore, it is beneficial to observe yourself for a few weeks to see how much sleep you actually need to feel rested and refreshed.

Woman lies in bed and turns off the alarm clock

It is better to get up earlier than to go to bed late

Caution! The amount of sleep you get is just as important as the quality of your sleep. Even if you sleep seven hours, it doesn’t matter whether you go to bed 11 p.m. or 6 a.m. The body is programmed to get up when the sun comes up. 

In the evening, the body releases the sleep hormone melatonin, which causes us to become tired and sleepy. However, if you are constantly forced to change your daily rhythm, it will have a profound effect on your body. In fact, it has been shown that people who work at night can develop severe heart problems that can eventually lead to heart attacks.

From the afternoon on, pay attention to what you eat

Eat breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king and dinner like a beggar.

When it comes to stimulating foods, most likely think of coffee first. But that’s not the only drink that invigorates our body and mind: tea or other sparkling drinks can have the same effect. Chocolate is another kind of food that wakes us up and prevents us from falling asleep – or it ensures that we wake up earlier. So you have to pay attention to what you eat and should avoid stimulating the body too much in the afternoon or evening.

In general, carbohydrates numb us, while proteins tend to wake us up. Therefore, apart from the better digestibility, it is better to eat a light salad in the evening than a steak.

In addition, it is advisable to reduce or even avoid the consumption of alcohol and intoxicants. 

Exercise regularly

Exercise is of course beneficial for staying fit and preventing the effects of sedentary lifestyles, but it is also a great way to relieve tension, both in the head and in the body. Because sport not only keeps us in shape, it also clears our minds and ensures that our worries do not rob us of sleep.

One measure that promotes sleep hygiene is to exercise regularly and with moderate intensity. But it is important to wait at least two hours after exercising before going to bed. The production of endorphins keeps our bodies awake and lying down with a high heart rate is not recommended. It is better to calm down first and then go to sleep peacefully.

Woman runs along the sea

Avoid stimulating activities before bed

Avoid watching action, overly passionate, or emotional films before going to bed, as these can increase our levels of physiological activation. Numerous studies have shown that the habit of using audiovisual equipment immensely increases the risk of sleep disorders, especially among young people between the ages of 18 and 32.

Therefore, one should do exactly the opposite: engage in relaxing activities before bed to promote sleep hygiene. Examples would be turning on background music, taking a hot bath, enjoying a light reading or doing breathing exercises. Our body will appreciate this the next day.

The pillow is not always the best advisor

Sleep hygiene does not regard the bed as a place of psychological counseling and the pillow not as a therapist. That said, if you have worries that are preventing you from falling asleep, it would be better to get up and talk to your partner before rolling around sleeplessly in bed for hours.

If you can’t get tasks that you need to complete the next day out of your head, we recommend that you write them down in a notebook so that your mind is relieved of the responsibility of memorizing them.

A room in perfect condition

The conditions that we find in the bedroom can have a decisive influence on the quality of our sleep. Your bedroom should ideally meet the following conditions:

  • Quiet and relaxed atmosphere: it is very pleasant when all residents of the house go to bed at the same time. If we are already in bed and ready to fall asleep, and we continue to listen to the computer fan or the football game on TV, our rest is interrupted.
  • Not too cold, not too hot: it is good to keep the room temperature at around 21 ° C. It is always better to keep the room a few degrees cooler than sleeping in a room that is too warm. In a very dry environment, turning on a humidifier a few hours before bed can be a good idea.
  • It is better to sleep in the dark, but nowadays this habit is often made difficult by the lights of our electrical appliances. The brightness of the screen or LED lights can disrupt our REM sleep phase and hinder the release of melatonin in the body.
Man sleeps at night

All of these habits that promote sleep hygiene have a very positive effect on the quality of sleep. Still, these tips won’t solve chronic insomnia problems. In these cases, these recommendations act as support for other therapeutic interventions.

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