You may find it impossible to fall asleep when you are awake at 4 a.m., but you ARE in control of good night sleep quality. If you follow few healthy tips you are going to find out the difference between restless feeling and an energized day. The next 12 habits, also known as “sleep hygiene”, can help anyone to maximize the sleep, even if you are affected by insomnia, jet lag, or shift work.
You may not understand the term “sleep hygiene” or can’t figure it out in practice, but this is the best way to get your rest and refill your energy during this new 24/7 era.:
Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Nicotine
You may already know this, but you should hold on to this rule to get a good night sleep.
As many of you know. caffeine acts as a stimulant and keeps you awake. Avoid products that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime. Smokers should hold back from using tobacco products too close to bedtime.
Alcohol may help you being sleepy, but after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, it increases the rate of awakenings and decreases the quality of sleep through the night. It is best to limit your alcohol intake to one to two drinks per day, or even less and avoid drinking about three hours before bedtime.
Your Bedroom should be Sleep-Inducing Environment
Cool, a quiet and dark environment can help you get a good sleep. Think of bats, they congregate in their caves for a daytime sleep. Use earplugs to lower the noise from outside, use nice curtains, blackout shades, or maybe an eye mask to block light, which is a powerful sign that signals the brain that it’s time to wake up. The temperature should be comfortably cool—between 60 and 75°F—and the room well ventilated. Always sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows and consider that most mattresses wear out after ten years.
If your pet regularly wakes you up during the night sleep, you should consider keeping it out of your bedroom.
Keeping computers or TVs, or work documents, out of the bedroom is helpful. Limit your bedroom activities to sleep and sex only.
Make a good Pre-Sleep Routine
The transition from wake time to sleep time should be light and easy trough relaxing activities for at least an hour or so. Taking a bath, reading a book, watching television, or practice relaxation exercises can help you prepare for sleep. Avoid stressful and stimulating activities, like doing work or discuss emotional issues. These stressful activities can make the body secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which keeps the body in the state of alertness and effect on a sleep quality.
Don’t Be a Nighttime Clock-Watcher
Don’t stаре аt thе clock in your bedroom, either if you are trying to fall asleep or you wake in the middle of the night. That can increase stress and is harder to fall asleep, which will ultimately affect the sleep quality. Turn the clock’s face away.
However, if often wake up in the middle of the night and don’t know what to do, don’t roll in the bed until morning, but engage in a quiet, relaxing activity such as reading a book or listening to music. Don’t turn a bright light on, that can alarm your internal clock that is time to wake up and do something. When your eyelids start to drop, return to bed.
Use the sunlight to Your Advantage
Sunlight keeps your internal clock in a healthy sleep-wake cycle. So, when you wake up to let the natural light in the room, also try to get out of the office for a break during the day.
Keep Consistent Sleep Schedule
Regular sleep schedule can help you have better sleep quality.
To set your body’s internal clock to try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Don’t miss your bedtime on the weekends to avoid losing your routine from Monday to Friday.
Nap – Early or Not at All
Many people habit to nap at some part of the day. But, people who find falling asleep or staying asleep through the whole night problematic, should avoid afternoon napping. If you are tired and must nap, keep it short and before 5 p.m.
Lighten Up on Evening Meals
Finish your dinner several hours before bedtime and avoid foods that are harder to digest. If you get hungry at night, snack on something that won’t disturb your sleep.
Balance Fluid Intake
Don’t drink many fluids before going to bed, to avoid waking up with a need to go to the bathroom. But for a better sleep quality keep in mind to hydrate your body enough, not to wake up thirsty.
Exercising before going to bed promotes restful sleep.
Getting tired of exercise can help you fall asleep easily if it is done at the right time of the day. Otherwise, it promotes sleeplessness. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete hormones such as cortisol, which activates the alerting mechanism in the brain, which is unwanted when you are struggling to get to the sleep state. Finish your daily exercise about three hours before bed.
Some of the tips are easier to include in your daily and nightly routine than others. If you stick with them, your sleep quality will improve. However, not all sleep problems are easy to solve. If your sleep difficulties do not improve after implementing the rules of good sleep hygiene, you should consult your physician or a sleep specialist.