Have you heard about sleep hygiene? If not, then you’re in luck! Especially if you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Sleep hygiene is a series of personal habits which – if you start practicing them – can seriously improve both the amount of sleep you get and how easy it is for you to fall asleep in the first place. Best of all, it’s completely free! You don’t have to pay anyone to teach you and you don’t have to purchase any fancy gadgets or accessories. As a matter of fact, if you’re curious, all you have to do is to keep reading this page. Because we’re about to explain the basic principles of sleep hygiene for you.
Learning Sleep Hygiene Basics
Today, we’re just going to start with the basics. You don’t want to rush into anything too fast or overwhelm yourself – otherwise, it won’t work. You’ve got to learn to walk before you can run, after all. For some of you, it may be like learning how to crawl before you can walk. Regardless, starting slow and simple with the very basics of sleep hygiene can help you transform your nightly routine and get the best sleep you’ve ever had in a good, long while.
Light Exposure Is Key
Mankind has evolved over thousands and thousands of years to be diurnal (fun fact: that’s the exact opposite of nocturnal). Our bodies were born to wake up at sunrise and settle in for a deep rest once the sun went down. But back then, the sun was the only light in our lives. Things are much more complicated now with electronic devices and artificial lighting. It completely messes up our circadian rhythm and throws our sleep/wake hormones out of balance.
But there are two simple things you can do to try to correct this imbalance. For starters, make time to give yourself more sunlight exposure during the earlier hours of your day. This ends a “wake up” signal to your brain and kick-starts production of the wakefulness hormones which give you energy and mental clarity. Next, limit your exposure to electronic light in the evening. Electronic devices bombard your eyeballs with the type of blue light that tricks your brain into suppressing melatonin. Melatonin is one of the most important hormones for sleep. So unplug, already! It’ll do wonders for your rest.
Pro tip: if you can, try to make sure you get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Work with your body’s circadian clock, not against it. With enough conditioning and practice, you may never need to set an alarm again.
Your Sleeping Environment – Are You Doing it Wrong?
The perfect sleeping environment is cool, dark, and free of distractions. If possible, set your thermostat for 68 degrees at night. Make sure there isn’t any ambient light peeking through your windows or coming from electronic devices. Blackout curtains and sleep masks work really well for this. Lastly, although we hate to say it, you may want to train your pet to sleep in its own bed. Rowdy pets could wake you up in the middle of night and ruin your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling groggy and awful the next day.
Pro tip: turn your environment into a zen haven by practicing meditation right before bed. It’ll help clear your mind and dispel the anxieties of the day.
Exercise Is Important for Better Sleep – No, Really!
Have you ever noticed how young children seem to have all the energy in the world and then sleep like a rock at night? There’s a little bit of a cycle going on. When you sleep that well, you have tons of energy the next day. And when you run around all day playing and having fun – as children do – you tire yourself out and get great sleep that night. If you can find time to run around and exercise more in your daily life – especially if you can find a physical activity that is also fun for you – it’ll tire you out the same way playtime does for young children. And you’ll be able to sleep that much better at night.
Pro tip: exercise your mind at the same time. 20% Of the calories you burn each day are burned exclusively by your brain. If you can’t exercise, or if you can’t exercise enough to make yourself more tired at bedtime, do something that challenges your brain to work harder. Learn a new skill, read a difficult book, or journal your day and write about the things that are keeping you up at night. All of these can help exercise your brain and put it in a space which is more conducive to sleep.
Stay as Drug-free as Possible
As tempting as they are, prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills will do you much more harm than good in the long run. Even though you feel like you’re completely asleep, your brain isn’t getting the restorative rest it needs because the chemicals block its ability to regenerate itself properly. And if you use these sleep drugs for a prolonged amount of time, it can permanently damage your brain’s ability to repair and replenish itself – even if you do figure out how to fall asleep naturally again. So beware of these substances, and only use them if it is absolutely necessary.
Pro tip: try and incorporate a natural sleep-aid like Avinol PM into your nightly sleep hygiene routine. Yes, we know we said you didn’t have to buy anything in order to take advantage of our sleep hygiene tips. And you don’t, to be fair. There is a money back guarantee you can take advantage of if you don’t like it. But if it does work for you, then that’s even better!
So there you go – the basics of sleep hygiene. As you experiment with different tricks and techniques, be sure to keep track of what does and what doesn’t work for you. It’s important to figure out the perfect sleep routine for you and your body – after all, your health is at stake!