Are you struggling to fall asleep or experiencing less than stellar quality sleep? Improving your snooze could be as easy as changing some of your habits, improving sleep environment, and creating relaxing sleep routine—making up the parts of what’s called sleep hygiene.
According to The Huffington Post, there is plenty to be learned from the book Understanding Sleep and Dreaming, which was authored by psychology professor William Moorcroft. Take a look at some of the suggestions that were shared, and try applying them to your life for more restorative sleep:
- Keep a consistent bedtime and wake up schedule, even on weekends. This helps keeps your circadian rhythm on track, making for more enjoyable shut-eye and less groggy mornings.
- Do not get into bed until you feel drowsy. Forcing yourself to sleep can be a stressful experience and push your bedtime back even further.
- Do not watch the clock once you tuck in. Try turning it away from you to avoid being tempted.
- If you haven’t fallen asleep in about 15-20 minutes, get up and leave your bedroom. Engage in relaxing activities such as reading, meditating, listening to soothing music in dim lighting.
- Do not watch TV, read emails, eat, or etc. in your bed. You want your brain to associate your bed with sleepiness to help you fall asleep faster so, only use it for sleep.
- Do not take extended naps during the day; doing so may make it hard to fall asleep at night. Aim for nap early in the afternoon and keep it no longer than 30 minutes to help ensure you’ll wake up alert and refreshed.
- Begin to fully relax at least an hour before your official bedtime. Only calm activities should be included such as taking a warm bath, praying or writing in a journal. Getting yourself worked up will only hurt your snooze.
- While exercise at any time of the day can help your enjoy better sleep, be careful not to work out too close to your bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking a few hours before you plan to sleep. Although alcohol may make initially make you feel relaxed, it actually fragments your sleep.
Poor sleep leads to increased psychological strain, lower self control and less engagement at work, along with a long list of serious health risks. Researchers have even linked trouble falling asleep with lower life satisfaction. Make the commit to be happier and healthier with 7-9 hours of quality rest every night!