• Hazel Leung

The Importance of Sleep Hygiene

Get off your screen!  Yes you heard me right.  Some of us have trouble falling asleep at night due to our negative pre-sleep habits as well as our environment.  I am here to reassure you that it is possible to get a good night’s rest.  




WHAT IS SLEEP HYGIENE AND WHY IS IT SO CRUCIAL?


Sleep hygiene refers to what we do before bed to help promote better sleep.  When we get enough sleep, our mental and physical health is improved, helping to increase happiness and productivity in everyday life.  


WHAT ARE SIGNS OF POOR SLEEP HYGIENE?

Feeling fatigue throughout the day, having trouble falling asleep, and waking up throughout the night are some indications of poor sleep hygiene.  


SO… WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE SLEEP HYGIENE?


Putting yourself in the right mindset and setting is key to improving sleep hygiene so that you can have a good night’s rest.  Implementing habits such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a pre-sleep routine that works for you, having healthy daytime habits,  and cultivating a restful bedroom environment can do wonders. 


-Sleep Schedule- 


Having a regular sleep schedule allows your body to know that sleep is part of your daily routine as well as how much sleep you need.  

  1. Wake up at the same time each day to maintain a consistent rhythm for sleep. 

  2. Go to bed around the same time each night.

  3. Naps can interfere with sleep at night.  Therefore, keep your naps short and during the early afternoon. 


-Pre-sleep Routine-


A regular pre-sleep routine can help ease you to bed as well as let your body know that it is time to turn in for the night. 

  1. 30 minutes before bed, do something that gives you a sense of relaxation.  Some ideas are stretching, reading a book, practicing meditation, or even having a late night calm dance session. 

  2. Dim your lights.

  3. Do not use electronics 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime, for blue light keeps you alert.


*If you cannot sleep for 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing, for tossing and turning in bed is counterproductive.*


-Healthy Daytime Habits- 


Healthy daytime habits help limit sleep disruptions and improve your circadian rhythm (24 hour cycles that are part of your body’s internal clock). 

  1. Go outside and soak up some sun!

  2. Get regular exercise.  

  3. Limit your caffeine intake, especially towards the late afternoon. 

  4. Try not to eat big meals late in the evening. Have light snacks at night if you are hungry.  


-Restful Environment- 


Your sleep environment plays a big role in emitting a sense of calm for easy sleep.  Everyone’s definition of a dreamy sleep setting varies, but here are some suggestions:

  1. Make sure your mattress, pillow, and bedding is comfortable.

  2. Have your room temperature on the cooler side (about 65 degrees).

  3. Have a dim environment. 

  4. Limit the amount of noise. 

  5. Use calming scents such as lavender or chamomile.  Personally, I love lighting scented candles right before bed to allow the scent to accumulate. 


I hope these tips help you.  Happy sleeping!



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