You may be wondering – can sleep be ‘hygienic’? Believe it or not, there’s actually a lot more this word can do for you than be a reminder to wash your hands. Broadly speaking, ‘hygiene’ is a set of practices associated with the preservation of health. Having ‘good sleep hygiene’ means doing things that give you the quality sleep needed to stay healthy. Here are some strategies for better sleep hygiene.
Sleep like a baby.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Over time, your body will develop a rhythm and you will be able to fall asleep faster and wake up more easily.
Cat nap only.
Avoid napping during the day, or you may have trouble falling asleep at night. If you must nap, limit yourself to 30 minutes or less. Or instead, try a meditation or relaxation exercise.
Shut down LCD screens.
An hour before bedtime, do something relaxing like listening to music or reading a book. Avoid using your computer, tablet, or phone before bed because the light suppresses the body’s sleep hormone, keeping you awake.
Cut yourself off.
Establish a cutoff time for caffeinated beverages like coffee, hot/iced tea, energy drinks, and soda. Drinking caffeine late in the day can keep you awake at night.
Snack lightly. Exercise early.
Avoid heavy meals, drinking alcohol, and exercising close to bedtime. Food and alcohol digestion can disrupt normal sleep patterns. Try to have your last meal at least 2-3 hours before going to bed, and if you get hungry, stick to light snacks like yogurt or fruit. Save vigorous exercise for earlier in the day to prevent it from keeping you awake at night.
SPREAD THE HEALTH: ‘Sleep hygiene’ is a term used to describe the things you can do to get quality sleep, including setting a sleep schedule, limiting afternoon naps, and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, exercise, and heavy meals before bed.