Most healthy adults usually need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night but the research shows that only 11% of people in Britain regularly sleep soundly through the night. Having a good night sleep is extremely important as it plays role in strengthening your immune system, mental health and helping your body to repair itself. Developing healthy habits and practicing good sleep hygiene overall supports your mental and physical health.
While the most obvious sign is having troubles falling asleep, feeling tired during the day, and brain fog might be the signs of poor sleep. Not having enough sleep slows down our reflexes, interrupts our decision-making processes and hinders our creativity.
It also has a negative effect on our mental health making us feel anxious and sad most of the time. It can worsen anxiety and creates insomnia along with other anxiety disorders. Serious sleep disturbances, including insomnia, have long been recognized as a common symptom of anxiety disorders.
Sleep hygiene is a series of healthy habits to practice before bedtime to help create ideal conditions for high-quality sleep. As your daily and bedtime routines can influence the quality of the sleep you have, following healthy habits will help you get more restful sleep.
If you are struggling to get a good night sleep, everything from your bedroom environment to the food and drink you consume during the day may be the cause of your lack of sleep.
So here are some sleep hygiene habits that will help you get consistent and uninterrupted sleep:
1. Have a consistent sleep schedule: This means going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, and if possible, continuing doing so on the weekends too.
2. Avoid naps during the day: Day time naps may disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to drift off at night.
3. Create relaxing bedtime routine: Taking a warm bath, reading a book, meditating or listening to relaxing music may be helpful to get your body ready to sleep.
4. Keep your room and bed comfortable: Make sure your room is quite and dark, also your mattress and pillows match your needs and preferences to help you sleep better.
5. Dim your lights: When it’s closer to your bedtime, make sure you keep away from bright lights as it will interfere with the release of melatonin, a hormone that the body creates to facilitate sleep.
6.Unplug before bed: At least an hour before bed, switch off your phone and other devices. And if possible, put your phone out of reach. The exposure to blue light disrupts the creation of melatonin hormone and negatively affects your sleep cycle.
7. Avoid foods that can disrupt sleep: Heavy meals, spicy food and fried food can be tough on digestive system and may cause disrupted sleep. So, make sure you stop eating 3-4 hours before bedtime.
8. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed: Caffeine and alcohol negatively impact your sleep cycle in their own way. It’s important to avoid consumption of these type of drinks for 6-8 hours before bedtime.
9. Get regular exercise: Many studies have shown having a regular exercise routine makes it easier to fall asleep and improves the quality of your sleep. Make sure to finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime.
10. Keep work out of the bedroom: Your bed should be used for exactly two things: sleep and, well, you know the rest. Avoid answering work emails or watching television in your room and let your brain associate your bed with intimacy and rest.