Sleep Hygiene Tips | How to Sleep Better

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Woman in bed sleeping, how to avoid lack of sleep

What Is Sleep Hygiene?

Healthy sleeping habits are referred to as sleep hygiene. Getting enough good sleep is so vital for your mental and physical health, as well as your overall quality of life. When people often ask "how to sleep better". They are often directed to or prescribed some sort of sleep aid medication. While this may be beneficial to some, a lot of poor sleeping issues can be resolved with good sleep hygiene. Below we'll go oversleep hygiene tips, and how to sleep better.

When someone thinks of sleep hygiene, the actions taken a few hours before bedtime may be the first thing that comes to mind. Though this is partially true, your actions during the day can have an impact on how you sleep and your health and wellness. Your food and drink choices, schedule, and physical exertion during the day are all factors.

Caffeine use should be stopped at least six hours before going to bed.

15 Sleep Hygiene Tips

Cat sun bathing for good sleep

  1. Consistency. Every night and every morning, including weekends, go to bed and get up at the same time. Even if you didn't get enough sleep the night before, it's preferable not to let yourself sleep in the next morning. Getting up at the same time every day can increase your "sleep drive" and help you sleep better the next night.

  2. Electronic Devices Should Be Turned Off. This should be done at least an hour before bedtime. Blue light from your phone, monitor, or tablet disrupts your body's natural melatonin hormones. If that's not an option, there are a few apps available that dim the blue light from your devices as you get closer to bedtime. Such as Flux for your personal computer.

  3. Exercise On A Regular Basis. Even 30 minutes of any type of exercise per day can help you sleep better and improve your overall health. Try avoiding exercising a few hours before bed. Your energy and body temperature will be elevated, making it more difficult to fall asleep.

  4. Comfortable. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and relaxing. Invest in new conferrable sheets, blankets, pillows, and comforters. You'd be surprised by just how much new bedding will help you sleep better.

  5. Food & Drink. It's a well-known fact that you shouldn't consume caffeine before bed. Few people are aware, however, that caffeine should be avoided for at least six hours prior. Citrus fruits, spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, and hefty meals are all difficult on the stomach and can cause indigestion. If you suffer from heartburn, eating too close to bedtime might ruin your night. Because it takes 3 to 4 hours for your stomach to empty, your digestive fluids are still churning when you lie down straight after a heavy meal. As a result, you'll have searing chest discomfort and sleep disturbances.

  6. Limit Or Exclude Napping. Long naps during the day might disrupt nightly sleep. If you must nap, keep it to 30 minutes or less.

  7. Keep Stress Down. Going to bed without stress is easier said than done, but it will help you fall asleep sooner and sleep deeper. How to sleep better really depends on how you prepare for sleep. Creating a pre-bedtime routine can help with stress. Whether it is reading a book, taking a bath or listening to relaxing music. Having a routine and sticking to it is a great sleep hygiene tip.

  8. Make Your Bed Every Morning. Or at the very least, before you go to bed for the night. Nothing beats getting into a freshly made bed and knowing it's time to sleep.

  9. Train Your Mind. Train it so that it knows that the bed is just for sex and sleep. Doing this will allow you to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and enjoy sleep more.

  10. Keep your pet out of your room at night. Keep your fur baby out and avoid using him or her as a "snuggle buddy." I don't exactly practice what I preach on this one, though I do feel more refreshed the next day when I occasionally do it.

  11. Put Your Phone In Airplane Mode. Turn it off and keep it out of reach, away from the bed. Even a vibration from silent mode would wake most light sleepers.

  12. Do Not Eat In Bed. Crumbs, crumbs, crumbs everywhere! I'm sure I'm not the only one that hates crumbs.

  13. Turn Down The Thermostat. Rather than relying on the room's ambient temperature to keep you warm in the winter, rely on your bedding.

  14. Don't Stay In Bed Awake For More Than 10 Minutes. If your mind is racing or you're worried about not being able to sleep in the middle of the night. Get out of bed and sit in a chair or on a couch in the dark. Return to bed after your mind is a little more at ease.

  15. Avoid Alcohol. Even a single glass of wine before bed might have a negative influence on your sleep. Although alcohol makes you feel tired at first, it might eventually affect the quality of your sleep. Alcohol disrupts what's known as "sleep architecture," or the natural flow of sleep through stages including deep sleep, REM sleep, and light sleep. Drinking can also cause you to sleep lighter and more restlessly, reducing sleep depth and quality and making you more likely to wake up tired.

The Consequences of Poor Sleep

You've been tossing and turning all night, you already know how exhausted, irritable, and out of sorts, you'll feel the next day. Many people are familiar with the effects of a bad night's sleep the next day, but the long-term consequences of sleep deprivation are real.

Moonlight Manifestation, How to get good sleep.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), More than a third of Americans aren't getting the recommended 7-9 Hours of sleep needed.

Sleep deprivation over an extended period of time has been known to lead to serious health problems. Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:

  • Heart disease

  • Heart failure

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Psychiatric Disorders

An extreme and long-term lack of sleep can lead to a number of psychiatric disturbances. Some people suffering from extended periods of sleep deprivation have experienced symptoms including disorientation, paranoia, and hallucinations. These types of symptoms can sometimes be confused or associated with schizophrenia.

According to some estimates, 90 percent of people who suffer from insomnia, a sleep disease marked by difficulty falling and staying asleep, also suffer from another medical problem.

Sleep deprivation over just a few days can lead to some worrisome health issues as well. Some of those issues are:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Ages skin

  • Lack of sex drive

  • Forgetfulness

  • Drowsy

  • Prone to accidents

  • Changes in mood

  • Irritable

Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and consequently obesity.

Man in white robe yawning, lack of sleep side effects

The Benefits of Good Sleep Hygiene

A good night's sleep may help you feel better and even enhance your memory. Your brain creates new connections to help you recall knowledge while you sleep. Restful sleep helps improve understanding and problem-solving skills, whether you're learning new computer skills or studying a new topic at school. The sleep hygiene tips above should be in your mind every night before bed.

Your mind and body are constantly renewing cells, restoring energy, and rebuilding tissue while you sleep. You wouldn't be able to perform fundamental body processes if you didn't get enough sleep, let alone work a forty-hour week. Getting adequate sleep has several advantages for both your physical and emotional wellbeing. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease have all been linked to insufficient sleep. It also boosts your energy, enhances your mood, and helps you overcome anxiety and depression.

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Your Bed is Your Palace

Your bed is your palace. It's probably one of your favorite inanimate objects to ever enter your life. If not it should be, and you should look into investing in a high-quality mattress if you don't love yours. There is perhaps nothing more essential in your life than a good mattress. This is particularly true as you become older. Your body generates less growth hormone as you get older, you'll likely have less slow-wave or deep sleep (an especially refreshing part of the sleep cycle). Because you generate less melatonin when this happens, you'll have more disturbed sleep and wake up more frequently during the night.

As stated in the sleep hygiene tips above, keeping your bed clean and making it every morning is vital. It gives you a sense that your bed and your bedroom is a palace, your palace.

Final Thoughts

How to sleep better: Finding the perfect habits and bedroom routines for you may require some trial and error, but the effort will pay off in terms of helping you go asleep fast and remain asleep all night.

If changing your sleep hygiene doesn't help, I'd suggest speaking with your doctor about prescription sleep medication. Good sleep is arguably the most essential aspect of your mental, physical, and long-term health, and it should not be overlooked.

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