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Tips for a Better Sleep Hygiene

Tips for a Better Sleep Hygiene

It can be hard to get a good night of sleep. More than one-quarter of Americans don't get enough sleep at night. Insufficient sleep can increase your risk of injury, as well as many other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and others.

You may need to make lifestyle changes in order to get the rest you deserve. You need to adopt healthy habits and get rid of those that keep you awake at night. These tips will help you to improve your sleep hygiene and create the right environment for getting some sleep.

Create a routine

Good sleep hygiene is dependent on a consistent sleep schedule. Changing when you wake up and go to sleep can disrupt your body's natural rhythms. You can get the rest that you need by following a consistent schedule even on holidays and weekends.

You can stick to a routine by creating a relaxing bedtime routine that starts at the same time every night. You can take a relaxing bath, listen to soothing music or read a book to help you relax. This will send a signal to your body that it is time for bed and will help you fall asleep faster.

Keep electronics away from your bed

Separate your bedroom from any other areas of your life that could cause stress, tension, or stimulation. According to the National Sleep Foundation, electronic devices like cell phones and laptops can make it difficult to fall asleep. So you should avoid playing your casino games before bedtime.

The blue light of glowing electronic screens reduces the body's production of melatonin which is an essential hormone for sleep. It can be difficult to relax and drift off if you associate your bed with other activities than sleep or sexual activity.

You should not watch television, use your computer or check your phone while you are sleeping. Avoid eating, working, or having heated discussions with your partner in bed. You may find it easier to sleep at night if you strengthen the relationship between your bed, your sleep, and your partner.

Set the Scene

Picture yourself falling asleep in perfect sleep. How would the room look? What does it look like in comparison to your bedroom? Improving your sleep could mean changing your environment.

First, examine your bed. Is your bed big enough? Are you waking up with sore necks? Do you and your spouse constantly bump heads? You could save a lot of money by buying a new mattress, comforter, pillow, or comforter.

Next, consider your bedroom at night. The most common causes of sleep disruption are light, sound, temperature, and humidity. You can try to reduce the impact of these factors and create an environment that is quiet, dark, and cool.

You can't ignore all the sounds around you so invest in earplugs or a fan. A sound machine that emits soothing white noise will also be helpful. To block the light coming in from outside, use blinds or window shades to block it and turn off any indoor lights. Finally, ensure that your room is always cool and comfortable.

Think about what you drink

How much you consume before bed can have a significant impact on your ability to fall asleep. Two of the most common sleep-disrupting substances are caffeine and alcohol.

Caffeine can be used to keep you awake. Caffeine effects can last six to eight hours. Avoid caffeine-containing beverages such as soda or coffee in the afternoon and evening.

The sedative effects of alcohol can leave you feeling tired and disrupt your sleep quality. Alcohol can cause sleep to be less restorative and can make you feel tired the next day. Limit alcohol intake to no more than one or two drinks per day, and avoid drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime.

Before you go to bed, drink a small amount of something that has a calming effect. Too much liquid can cause you to go to the bathroom every night. This can disrupt your sleep.

Try again

Even with these tips, it might be difficult to fall asleep at night. Although it is important to have a consistent sleep schedule, forcing yourself into sleep is not advisable.

If you are still awake after trying to fall asleep for 15 minutes, get up and move on. You could go back to your bedtime relaxation routine. You can take a relaxing bath, read, or listen to soothing music. After you feel relaxed, go to bed.

You don't need to be tempted to turn on the TV, use your computer or look at your emails or texts, no matter how tempting. Avoid bright light, extreme temperatures, and loud sounds. You will find it more difficult to fall asleep if you are exposed to stimulating activities.

How you can get started

Good sleep hygiene will help you fall asleep faster and have a better quality of sleep. You can help yourself to fall asleep faster by following a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxed bedtime routine. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and bright electronic screens before bedtime. Don't force yourself to fall asleep if you are unable. Relax and get up. You can then go back and do it again if you feel more relaxed.

Talk to your doctor if you are still having trouble sleeping. Your ability to sleep may be affected by an underlying condition. You may be recommended by your doctor to make lifestyle and medication changes or use other strategies to get the rest you need.

Photo: OLM staff

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