Healthy sleep habits can spell out a major difference in the quality of life you lead. In fact, the act of developing healthy sleep habits is commonly referred to as sleep hygiene. Poor sleep habits may bear little impact at the very start, but in the long-run can result in major complications that can change your life for the worst. It’s important that you drop the poor habits and instead take up better sleep practices which may even lead to living a longer life. Here’s some tips to help you get started.
Best Practices For A Better Night Sleep
Keep A Good Bedtime Routine
While it may seem obvious, keeping a good bedtime routine is actually more important than you may believe. A good bedtime routine generally works off the following pattern:
- Going to bed at the same time, even on weekends
- Getting up at the same time, even on weekends.
The idea of setting a good bedtime routine is to help regulate your body’s internal clock, also known as your internal circadian biological clock. This clock helps to regulate periods of sleepiness and wakefulness across the day. Generally, the circadian rhythm changes at different times of the day with the strongest sleep time being between 2am-4am and 1pm-3pm in the day. By setting a proper sleep time you’ll be able to help regulate this clock, which in turn can help you to get to sleep a lot easier. This will help give you a much healthier sleep cycle in your daily life.
Limit Big Meals and Stimulants Before Bed
Life is full of different stimulants that can affect sleep. These things can be in the form of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. It’s important that before bed you limit these key triggers which can affect your sleep.
In retrospect, large meals can also play a part in stopping you from falling to sleep due to an uncomfortable heaviness in your stomach and troubles with heartburn or stomach aches depending on your susceptibility to different foods.
Instead it’s a good idea to eat at least two hours before you plan to go to bed. This helps to give your body some time to start digesting the food. This helps to lower your risk of getting heartburn and can also help to remove the heaviness in your stomach as well.
Utilize Relaxing Activities Before Bed
With this technology age, many people find they’re on their phones, computers or iPad’s right before bed. This can be a problem as it can stimulate the mind and cause you to stay awake for longer. Instead it’s best to find quiet and relaxing activities that don’t simulate your mind as much, or allow you to think too much. Some great activities include, but aren’t limited to:
- Watching TV
- Reading a book
- Listening to some quiet and soft music
- Cuddling up in bed with your partner and talking
These activities can help you to slow your mind down and can begin to relax your body. Within half an hour to an hour, you’ll find that you’ll be relaxed enough in the body and mind to be able to go to sleep.
Write Out Your Thoughts on Paper
This technique is very powerful for those who may be having issues and high amounts of stress in their life. If you’re constantly thinking about a stressful situation in your mind, a great way to help your mind be free of it, is by writing it down.
This doesn’t mean just writing a one line sentence, this means writing down everything you’re thinking of. The idea of this is that it can help your mind to stop thinking about the stress you’re under. Your subconscious realises that you’ve got a copy of everything in your mind, so it doesn’t need to continue to think of it. This works well and can help you to get to sleep faster after a stressful day.
When it comes to keeping good health, it’s important that you try and get a good night sleep. By taking these tips into consideration, you’ll be able to really help improve your sleep pattern for a much more restful sleep. So, are you ready to get some sleep?
Nicky Ellis is an editor at We Sleep Well. She lives in London and loves writing about beds, mattresses, and all sleep related things. She is a mum of three who spends all her free time with her family, friends or just sipping her favourite cuppa of Earl Grey.