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What is Sleep Hygiene and How Important is it?

What is Sleep Hygiene and How Important is it?

Sleep hygiene is a phrase that describes your habits, behaviours and routines relating to sleep.

Perhaps you already adhere to a bedtime routine  – but perhaps you don’t. Either way, your nighttime routine, or lack thereof, constitutes a part of your sleep hygiene. Other contributing factors include things like whether or not you nap during the day or drink coffee before bedtime. Any aspect of your lifestyle that could affect your sleep could be considered part of your sleep hygiene.

The Importance of Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene contributes to healthy, serene sleep. Poor sleep hygiene contributes to insomnia. It is possible to make significant enhancements to the quality of your sleep simply by making it a priority to improve your sleep hygiene.

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Embrace Your Body Clock

Rather than fighting your internal body clock, it’s helpful to create a daily routine that works with it. Awaken at a routine, predictable time every morning, and prepare for bed at the same time every night. This way, your body is likelier to anticipate, and respond favorably to, its allocated times for waking and sleeping.

Choose Comfortable Furnishings That Promote Sleep

Tranquil sleep should be your foremost consideration when choosing a mattress and bedding. Select a plush, yet firm, mattress that supports your curves and your spine. Dress the mattress with sheets and bedding that are appropriate for the current season.

Avoid Overly Hot Temperatures in the Bedroom

You especially want to avoid overheating during the hottest months of summer. Research has revealed that your thermal environment at night can dramatically affect your sleep quality.

During the stuffiest and most stifling times of the year, it may be best to store your quilts and blankets and sleep under a sheet only.

It’s also important to choose the right sheets. A cotton or bamboo sheet set is ideal on hot nights. Staff at Sleepadvisor.org points out that cotton retains more heat than bamboo does – so, on particularly hot nights, you’re likely to find that bamboo sheets are the cooler, more comfortable choice. Ecosa’s bamboo bedding sets are a splendid choice for promoting prime sleep hygiene in warm weather.

Exercise

Daily exercise helps to empower optimal sleep hygiene. However, you do have to ensure that you don’t choose the 4 hours right before bedtime as your workout time. This is because exercise is likely to help you feel pumped up and energetic, which is hardly the state of mind you want to be in right before it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Morning or early afternoon workouts are preferable.

Avoid Daytime Napping

If you nap during the day, you’re likelier to be wakeful when it’s time for bed. If napping is something you absolutely can’t do without, make it a short nap early in the day. You definitely want to avoid napping after 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

If you can take all these suggestions and use them to adapt your own habits, behaviours and routines, your sleep hygiene is quite likely to improve. These are the first steps to take towards better sleep.

If you suffer from insomnia, it is possible that a simple change in habits could help to resolve it. However, it is also possible that your particular situation may require professional help. If you’re struggling with insomnia, I urge you to speak with your GP about it. Your GP can advise you on how to best resolve improper sleep hygiene issues, or refer you to a specialist if that is necessary.

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