What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is a word that refers to the behaviours, rituals, and environmental elements that might help an individual sleep better. Sleep hygiene is a wide term that refers to the foods you consume (or avoid), your exercise routines, your night time ritual, and your sleep surroundings.
Effective sleep hygiene often involves avoiding alcohol and caffeine, exercising frequently, having a cool and comfortable bedroom environment, and establishing a consistent bedtime ritual to train the brain and body to prepare for sleep.
Why is proper sleep hygiene so important?
Research has shown that practicing good sleep hygiene is a simple and efficient way to improve sleep in many circumstances. No one sleeps well every night, no matter how regular their habits are. But if someone has a regular sleep routine and sticks to it, and if they take care of their sleep environment, they are often on the right track for sound sleep.
Ending poor sleeping habits
While healthy sleep habits and consistent night time routines may make a significant impact in a person’s sleep quantity and quality, it is equally important to eliminate bad sleep-related habits and behaviours. While the bad habits that interrupt our sleep vary from person to person, in most cases this process will involve avoiding foods and beverages that interfere with sleep, avoiding electronic devices that are disruptive, and identifying and removing any obstacles that are preventing a person from getting enough rest.
How can you improve sleep hygiene?
The rituals, behaviours, and routines you follow around sleep are referred to as sleep hygiene. Following good sleep hygiene practices can improve sleep quality and duration, which in turn, can improve circadian rhythms and overall mental health.
Here are eight tips for improving your sleep quality:
• Aim to go to bed at the same time each night
• Turn off ALL screens at least an hour before bed and put them into another room
• Have your last meal two hours before bed
• Avoid caffeine and other stimulants from mid-afternoon onwards
• Make sure your room is dark and block out any artificial light
• Aim to get between 8-9 hours of sleep per night
• Do something relaxing before bed
• Ensure your bedroom is not too hot or too cold
Seeking support from a professional
Did you know the positive and negative link between sleep and mental health is multidimensional and complex? Evidence indicates that adequate levels of sleep are related with enhanced mood, increased productivity, and even a greater overall sense of life satisfaction.
Navigating through behaviours and barriers can be difficult and not always easy to identify; if you require more guidance to improve your sleep hygiene, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. Click here to book online or give our friendly reception team a call on: 1800 327 477 (AU) / 0800 327 477 (NZ)