How do you feel when you wake up every day? Do you feel well-rested and energized or are you dragging yourself to work every morning? The fact is most of us aren't getting enough sleep or the sleep that we are getting isn't restorative.
Today we are not going to discuss data points or how under slept we are. Nor are we going to go into the litany of health and other issues that sleep deprivation can lead to, because chances are you know all this.
The real question for most of us is “how can I get more sleep or how can I get better and deeper sleep that leaves me feeling truly rested”?
So, let’s focus on real and practical solutions that could be an absolute game-changer for you when it comes to overcoming poor sleep hygiene!
According to the sleep expert Matthew Walker who is a professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley and the author of the New York Times bestseller “Why We Sleep?”, one out of three of us is chronically under slept.
That means you're not alone who is struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep for a longer time. And in this current age of the pandemic when we're stressed in so many directions of life, getting sound sleep is a tough row to hoe.
Let's focus on some truly impactful sleep hygiene tips that could get you restful sleep and make you feel alert during the day.
When sleepless nights become the norm rather than the exception it's important to start to become diligent about implementing good sleep hygiene methods.
How to practice sleep hygiene?
Most of us have probably heard of the term sleep hygiene but not everyone necessarily knows what exactly does it means. No, sleep hygiene does not have anything to do with cleanliness. Although a clean bedroom can be a vital element of good sleep hygiene, sleep hygiene mainly refers to habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.
This does not just include a regular bedtime routine but also a number of daily practices that can help you to get a peaceful and comfortable sleep. Some of the benefits of good sleep hygiene are – improved focus and learning, better weight regulation, a stronger immune system, and lower stress.
Here are the 10 most important sleep wellness tips that could help you create your own sleep hygiene checklist.
10 most important sleep hygiene tips
- Expose yourself to sunlight
During daytime breaks, instead of staying on the computer open your blinds and have your cup of coffee or tea while gazing out of the window, or better step outside for a few minutes. The more daylight exposure you’ll get, the higher your body will produce melatonin for better sleep.
- Unless you are a shift worker do not take naps or keep them short
Napping after 3 pm can interfere with the restorative value of sleep later at night. If you're tired, take nap for only 10 to 20 mins. The more effective way is to get into bed earlier that evening in order to recharge yourself.
- Avoid heavy dinners late at night.
Eating early and balanced food with the right combination of fluids, carbohydrates, and protein keeps you feeling satiated for longer, and also decreases fatigue, which eventually can help you trigger sleep. However, avoid eating heavy dinners late at night, especially ones that include spicy, fatty foods.
- Watch your caffeine consumption
Most people don’t realize how much caffeine they’re actually consuming in the form of pills, sodas, coffee, and energy drinks. caffeine’s effects last longer as it takes time to work out of the body. And as you get older and your metabolism drops, it takes longer than usual to fall asleep faster.
- Build a steady sleep pattern
Being disciplined about sleeping time can enhance the quality of sleep. Differentiate your daytime and bedtime activities associated with alertness and relaxation respectively. It takes time for the body to get used to a schedule, but once a habit is formed, it gets easier to trigger your sleep and wake-up time.
- No screen time before going to bed.
Resist the urge to check the phone or computer for at least half an hour before bedtime. Phone and computer screens emit blue light that can disrupt sleep. Instead, read a book that has been tucked away on your shelf for a long time.
- Mini-workout before bed
Moderate-intensity exercises can reduce stress, fight depression, and enhance sleep quality. Exercises like breathing, yoga, and meditation can calm your racing mind and help you release body tension before bed.
- Turn your bedroom into an oasis of calm
Our bedrooms are our last bastion against the outside world. If they are a mess they can really put a downer on our mental state, though we want them to be an oasis of calm. In order to achieve this, try to make your bedroom environment comfortable and conducive to sleep. Get a comfortable mattress and pillows and keep the temperature moderate.
- Don’t force yourself to sleep
If you can't fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something boring (in another room) until you feel drowsy. Lying in bed and attempting to force yourself to sleep is the worse thing to do as it stimulates our brain to overthink and delay falling asleep.
- Invest in a new mattress
If you have a mattress that is probably old and in bad shape, you only add up to your day’s frustrations. Upgrading your mattress is the solution. Getting a night of restful sleep is all hooked into the type of mattress you sleep on. A good mattress provides comfort and serves its purpose for a very long period of time.
Mancini’s Sleepworld offers an expansive collection of quality crafted mattresses designed to help you sleep better. Our mattress collection includes mattresses in different sizes and types. You can choose between king size, queen size, twin size, and full size mattresses from a variety of brands including Sealy, Serta, Beautyrest, Nectar, and more.
Shop in stores or online today! For a free consultation on your mattress purchase please call 800-647-5337