After a long day at work, it can be tempting to stay “on” and continue working well into the evening. For some of us, getting very few hours of sleep is part of the process of success. There are positives in the short term, but the detrimental effects of lack of sleep eclipse any small gains. It can affect our mental and physical health.
Sleep hygiene is the practice of healthy sleeping habits. It consists of going to sleep at a consistent time and for a consistent duration. The interesting thing is that sleeping is only the final step to a healthy sleep routine. So how do you get there? Check out these tips for better sleep hygiene to improve your health and get a better night’s sleep.
Cut Out Any Blue Light Hours Before Bed
Blue light is a form of artificial light. It affects the body’s circadian rhythms and suppresses melatonin. This keeps us from becoming drowsy or falling asleep. This is perfect for daytime activities, but it can be detrimental when you’re trying to fall asleep at night.
Many devices emit blue light, including:
- LED lights
We live in an ultra-connected world, so you likely have at least one of everything listed above. However, if you want to get a good night’s rest, put all electronics down 2 to 3 hours before bed so that your body can begin to settle down.
Make Your Sleep Space Comfortable
Making your sleep environment cozy can mean many things. You can try different approaches, take a look at your bedding, you might want to invest in luxury cotton quilts or maybe adjusting the thermostat to the perfect temperature. The trick is to learn what works for you. A lot of the time we accept the status quo and don’t take the time to really consider a different approach. Would putting a fan on while you sleep help? Do you need a sleep mask or earplugs? These things can often make a huge difference in your sleep experience, so don’t be afraid to try out new things.
Cut Down on Caffeine
You may not have to cut out caffeine completely, but you should at least stop drinking it after noon. Caffeine has a half-life of 7 to 8 hours after consumption. This means that drinking a cup of coffee at 7 PM will keep you up for the rest of the night. If you fall asleep at 2 in the morning, you’ll be 2 hours behind your sleep schedule. You’ll need to make that up the next day. To avoid this, cut out all caffeine intake by 12 PM.
Get Daily exercise
Countless studies have been done on the benefits of exercise and many of them on how regular exercise can improve your quality of sleep. Regular exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improves our overall bodily function which all contribute to a healthier body and mind. When you exercise is important also as exercising in the evening can have a negative impact on sleep so try to move your workouts to earlier in the day if you find yourself having trouble falling asleep.
don’t eat too late
It’s takes your stomach 3 to 4 hours to digest your dinner so eating an hour or two before bed is not setting yourself up for success. You will go to sleep while your digestive system wants to work leading to a poor digestion and a poor nights sleep. Try to get in the habit of eating earlier in the evening or if that’s not possible consider having your main meal at lunch time at least then your body will only have to digest a smaller meal late at night.
create a bedtime routine
and lastly it might be a good idea to create a positive bedtime routine. Creating positive habits to wind down in the evening will help to get your body in the optimum state for sleep. maybe a bath or some meditation or a couple of relaxing yoga poses, whatever you decide to include in your bedtime routine make sure they are wholesome and supportive activities that are helping the body to relax. Start small by adding something positive or removing a negative habit like watching Netflix in bed. Small changes will add up to give you better results. If you want more tips on creating positive habits go here.
These tips for better sleep hygiene to improve your health will help you become a more productive and creative individual. You’ll find yourself more rested and ready to tackle the day.