What Is Sleep Hygiene?

June 27, 2023

Are you getting enough high-quality sleep to support your physical, mental, and emotional health? Your sleep hygiene—the environment and habits that affect your sleep—plays a major role.

How can I improve my sleep hygiene?

1. Improve your environment

  • Make peace and quiet a priority. If you live on a busy street, soundproofing might be a consideration—or try white noise to drown out the rest of the world.
  • Blackout curtains can keep out light (being indarkness helps your body produce melatonin and become sleepy).
  • Adjust the thermostat to around 65 degrees; lower temperatures may help with sleep.
  • Many people feel happiest sleeping with a pet, but for some this may be distracting. Consider getting your fur babyher own bed.

2. Adjust your daily habits

  • Getting sunlight during the day helps the body to set its clock (Bonus: this will help you produce vitamin D).
  • Alcohol can induce sleep, but it also lowers the quality of sleep, so it should be avoided (and so should nicotine).
  • Heavy meals and caffeine in the late afternoon or evening can interfere with sleep.
  • Long naps during the day are not recommended bysleep experts (20-minute power naps are OK).
  • Getting some physical activity early in the day will ready the body for rest at night. However, it is best to avoid strenuous exercise a half hour or more before bedtime.
  • Making the bedwhen you get up might seem like a chore, but it really does provide comfort.
  • Beds should be used for sleeping or partner relations only. That means no hour-long sessions on Tik Tok, or eating in bed.
  • Having a regular bedtime and regular time for getting up helps the body set its clock for sleep.

3. Relax your mind

  • If sleep does not come right away, many people find deep breathing
  • Try out some meditation or relaxation techniques.
  • Check out guided imagery to calm your body and mind.
  • Keep it simple: Reading a book or taking a relaxing bath can help you wind down.

If you find you are suffering from a lack of quality sleep, it’s time to make some changes. Most of these recommendations don’t require any special purchases or even much effort. Making the right adjustments to your habits and in your home can take your sleep hygiene to the next level—and your body and brain will thank you.

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