What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep. Common sleeping problems such as insomnia are often caused by habits reinforced over the years or even decades. To improve your sleeping habits and sleep quality, you must be willing to make minor adjustments. However, if your sleep problem continues despite the home remedies, it is recommended that you seek professional help. Do not attempt to self- medicate, as this can result in side effects that might harm your health.
Sleep Hygiene Tip#1 – Obey your body clock – change your sleep routine
The body alternating sleep-wake cycle is controlled by an internal clock within the brain. Most bodily processes are synchronized to this 24-hour physiological clock. Getting a good night sleep means working with your body clock, and not against it.
Sleep Hygiene Suggestions to get better sleep
Here are some few Sleep Hygiene suggestions:
- Go to bed the same time every night, and wake up the same time every morning. It might be hard at first but consistency is the key, for your body to set the clock, and you will find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
- Do not ignore tiredness – Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready.
- Do not go to bed if you feel active or hyper – it is best that you associate your bed for sleep and sex only. Do not attempt to force yourself to go to bed if you feel active or hyper. Take a moment to rest and prepare your body for sleep by drinking calming tea such as Chamomile.
- Get enough sunshine – exposure to light during early waking hours helps you set your body clock.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #2 Improve your sleeping environment
Good sleep starts in your bedroom; it should be a comfortable, stress-free, clutter-free room where rest is expected, rather than stress.
Here are some few Sleep hygiene suggestions:
- Invest in a good mattress such as Full Gel Memory Foam Mattress – sleep like an angel every night and wake up refreshed every morning
- Make sure your room is at the right temperature
- Ensure that your room is dark enough
- If you cannot control neighborhood noises (such as Vehicles, dogs or loud neighbors) purchase a couple of earplugs
- Use the bedroom for sleep and intimacy only. If you treat your bedroom as a lounge for watching television etc. your mind will associate your bedroom with activity.
Sleep Hygiene Tip#3 Avoid resorting to drugs or medications for better sleep
Sleep hygiene – mistaken belief
Some people resort to medications especially over-the-counter sleep aids, or social drugs, in the mistaken belief that sleep would likely come without hassle. Common pitfalls include:
Many smokers claim that cigarettes help them feel relaxed, yet nicotine is a stimulant. The side effects are accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure, are likely to keep you awake longer.
Alcohol is a depressant drug, which means it slows the working of the nervous system. Drinking before bed may help you doze off; however, since alcohol disturbs the rhythm of sleep patterns, you won’t feel refreshed in the morning.
- Sleeping pills
Some sleeping pills have a few drawbacks such as daytime sleepiness, and after a stint of using sleeping pills, falling asleep without them tends to be a challenge. These types of drugs are often used as a temporary last resort and under strict medical advice.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #4 Practice to relax your mind before sleep time
Insomnia is often caused by worrying and stress. After a long day at work, take time to relax your mind. Whatever that suits you is the best remedy, might it be drawing a hot bath, reading a book, listening to music, or watching your favorite TV show. As long as it slows down your mind, and get off the day’s stress. Do it 2 hours before bedtime. And it will help you get better and more relaxed sleep.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #5 Natural remedies for sleep
Here are some natural or herbal remedies to help you nod off faster:
- Chamomile tea – Chamomile tea has been used for relaxation for centuries, but it is more than just a folk remedy. One review found that chamomile act as a mild sedative, helping to calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and ease insomnia.
- Valerian – Like chamomile tea, this herb has been out there for centuries as remedies for a sleep disorder, like chamomile, Valerian roots promote calmness, help people doze off faster and sleep more soundly.
- Kava – The root has been a long favorite among Pacific Islanders for promoting relaxation. In fact, an analysis found that kava was significantly more effective at treating anxiety than a placebo, and some research suggests it could also help treat insomnia.
Here is a list of natural remedies to consider.
Sleep Hygiene advice – Always seek professional help if sleep disorder continues despite the home remedies mentioned above.
Sleep hygiene medical sleep aids
If you have tried different ways such as medical sleep aids, natural remedies, change sleep patterns and routine, change lifestyle, change diet and more and it still hasn’t helped your sleeping problems. Perhaps, it is time to seek professional help, besides; only a professional could point out the underlying issues that might be making it harder for you to fall asleep. And only a professional can prescribe the proper medication for you.