What Is Sleep Hygiene? Why Does it Matter?
Sleep hygiene is the series of routines, habits, and behaviors you partake in relation to your sleep. Unknowingly or not, each of us has our own rituals and behaviors which may impact our overall feeling of rest. Things like a 3 pm cup of coffee or sleeping in on the weekend to ‘catch up’ on sleep are examples of undesirable sleep hygiene behaviors.
Sleep hygiene is important because it can either improve or reduce the quality of sleep you are getting. A few simple tweaks can really improve the amount of sleep you are able to get – whether that is 6 hours or 9 hours.
#1 Block out all light and noise
Darkness acts as a signal to your body it needs to prepare for sleep. If you aren’t able to completely control your circumstances, then things like a sleep mask and earplugs will ensure that you are able to block out as much light and noise as possible.
Alternatively, blackout curtains make a huge difference; also using masking tape to cover any small lights on chargers and cords.
#2 Use a filter on electronics
Blue light from electronics can mimic sunlight and throw off our body’s natural circadian rhythm. These kinds of devices can trick our bodies into thinking it is still light outside and we should, therefore, stay awake. Apps like f.lux can be installed to block out the high frequency wavelengths that may interfere with sleep.
#3 Be mindful of the temperature in the room
The ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the room dark will aid in maintaining a cooler temperature, and a fan can be positioned near the bed as well.
#4 Aim to fall asleep and wake up at a similar time each night
Waking up at a similar time will help strengthen your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Our bodies are designed to rise with the sun and sleep when it goes down – and sleeping in on weekends can throw this rhythm off. The same goes for falling asleep at a similar time. You will find falling asleep will get easier as your body gets used to its new routine.
#5 Worst case… use a supplement
A supplement is just that – an extra bonus to an already healthy lifestyle. If you are really struggling to fall asleep at night, things like melatonin or CBD oil can help get your body ready for sleep.
Of course, the goal is to be able to fall asleep without these products, but they can be particularly useful in the beginning when you are trying to get your body’s rhythm back on track.
This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.com.