How to improve sleep hygiene
I often hear from people about their lack of good quality restful sleep. Now whether you lack this due to mental health struggles like I have with anxiety or other things. Whether it’s overwork over scheduling too much Netflix.
And we just kind of usually call this like good habits, good sleep hygiene. So this is just an article outlining a bunch of really good habits that you can do to get a better night’s sleep.
01- Have a dark room.
Not just blinds that let in light. In our room my wife and I we have these pulldown blinds in our master bedroom and then bought these blackout blinds. These are thick curtains that block out everything. I wish I’d gotten these much sooner in life.
02- No tech.
No technology and some people say 60 minutes before bed some say 90 minutes before bed. But if you’re not getting good sleep.
Then you should actually make sure you’re not getting any of that light from technology. Because it can cause issues with our sleep.
03- Have a cold room.
Cold is better for sleep throw some extra blankets on.
04- Have a quiet room.
Don’t put on laundry, dishwashers, have people watching TV loudly if there’s a noisy house maybe you might need to use earplugs.
05- Just what we call sleep training.
It’s going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. I go to bed at 10:30 every night and I get up around 7:00 every day.
The truth is I’m actually usually up much earlier than that. But the goal is kind of that range.
06- Just caffeine.
For me, there’s no caffeine after lunch. I was about 10 years of age when I realized that caffeine midafternoon through evening would keep me up.
07- Have nighttime routines.
Just have one. Have some kind of nighttime rituals or habits that you do and then keep those habits each night.
Whether it’s having a bath, reading a book whatever it might be but do those things consistently.
08- Kind of building on that read a book.
Not digital by the way not on a Kindle and not nonfiction. Right, you want something that’s not gonna make you think.
But something that just kind of is mindless entertainment for you.
09- Something we do to get better sleep we have daily exercise.
But not close before bed. I was actually told wants to switch my workouts from the morning to the early afternoon or really early evening to see if it affects my sleep. Try it to see how it affects yours.
10- Get light each day.
You know go outside. Especially in our northern winters with less Sun. some people even use these special lamps you get. It’s not a regular lamp. It’s a lamp that has a special bright light.
You can eat while having your breakfast or you can eat that you can put on while you’re having your breakfast or morning coffee. And the light gives you as you know maybe if it’s 15 minutes. It gives you about an hour of what you would get through sunshine if you were outside.
11- Pen and paper put it beside your bed.
If you think about things throughout the night write them down and then deal with it the next day.
Often sometimes you ruminate over thought as opposed to that. Get up quickly write it down and then you’re done with it. And you can look at it the next day.
12- What are your bed and pillow-like?
You know is it crazy old maybe buy a new one. Is your bed comfortable stop using a pillow from 15 years ago.
13- Limit naps during the day.
I often hear people say thirty minutes or less if you’re gonna nap. For me now I don’t nap. That’s part of my sleep training I just don’t nap I try to sleep at night.
But if I was to a nap I would just basically want to fall asleep and then wake up. Always less than thirty minutes. But I wake up horribly groggy and feeling bad. So I actually never do this.
14- Dedicate your bed for only sleep.
No homework in bed, playing video games, eating like relaxing no that is for sleep and that’s alone.
15- Take a warm bath or a shower just before bed.
I’ve always found this really relaxes me.
16- No alcohol before bed.
17- No large meals before bed.
Now a snack is okay. And there are certain snacks better than others, you might do people talk about a banana or like toast with peanut butter but whole-wheat toast with peanut butter.
18- This might sound weird but go to your dentist and see if you grind your teeth.
You might need a mouth guard to stop this.
And we’re looking at anything that could affect your sleep and grinding teeth could be that reason rule it out there getting a mouthguard.
19- Do something relaxing before bed.
Whether its breathing exercises or we’ve already talked about doing like reading a book rather things.
But do something that relaxes you maybe stretches.
20- If you’ve done all of these things and you are still not sleeping go see a sleep specialist.
You would get a referral from your family doctor to then go to a sleep specialist. Who you would actually fall asleep in a building with electrodes over you and they would monitor you throughout the night.
And then find out if there’s any like physical reasons that you’re not sleeping. Some people need one of those CPAP or BiPAP machines. I call them Darth Vader machines at nighttime. And then you’re might get enough oxygen to be breathing better.