Getting a good night’s sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It can also improve mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. Practicing good sleep hygiene creates optimal nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.
The Circadian System
The body’s natural “Circadian System” synchronizes the body with the 24-hour day. This internal clock regulates when we feel both alert and ready to sleep, and sends signals to different parts in the body, affecting digestion, hormone release, body temperature, and more. Adequate exposure to natural light during the day and darkness at night helps the body maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Completing a two-week sleep diary may help you understand how your routines affect your sleep.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Set your bedtime early enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep for adults (10 for children).
Take time to unwind and get sleepy. Consider reading, taking a bath, or listening to music as part of your bedtime ritual.
Get rid of any distractions from sleep, such as bright lights, televisions, and other electronics. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows and keep your bedroom a place for rest and intimacy only.
Exercise helps us fall asleep faster, improves deep sleep, and decreases nighttime awakenings. It can take 2-3 hours for your body to cool down after a workout, and this can create sleep difficulties in some people, but not all. Try exercising at different times of the day to see what timeframe improves your sleep the most.
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and try a relaxing activity (no electronics) until sleepy. Worrying about not sleeping makes it challenging to fall asleep.
A temperature between 60 and 67 degrees is optimal for sleep. Also consider blackout curtains, eye masks, earplugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans, and other devices to make the bedroom more relaxing.
10-20 minute naps can boost your brainpower, but naps closer to bedtime make it harder to fall asleep when its time.
The stimulating effects in coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate can take as long as 8 hours to wear off.
Large meals can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Drinking too many fluids can wake you up to use the restroom. Alcohol keeps you in lighter stages of sleep, and you tend to wake up in the middle of the night when sedating effects wear off.
Stimulation from the light of television or phone can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you consistently find yourself feeling tired or not well-rested, you should visit with a physician.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect data via analytics are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on the website.