What you Need to Know About Sleep Hygiene

What you Need to Know About Sleep Hygiene

What you Need to Know About Sleep Hygiene

Everyone has bad habits. Some are more annoying than others, and some can be downright dangerous. But the most insidious of all bad habits is one that we don't even recognize as such: sleep deprivation. We think it's normal to go without sleep for days on end, but in reality, it's a form of self-harm that wreaks havoc on our physical and mental well-being. In this article, I'll explain everything you need to know about sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe the habits and practices that are conducive to a good night's sleep. It includes things like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and keeping your bedroom dark and cool.

How does sleep hygiene affect me?

Poor sleep hygiene can have a number of negative consequences. It can cause fatigue and drowsiness, which obviously impact your ability to function during the day. Chronic sleep deprivation can also affect your mood and increase your risk of developing mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
The long-term effects of sleep deprivation are even more serious: it has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, and even early mortality.

Why is sleep hygiene important?

Most people have experienced the negative effects of sleep deprivation on their mood or physical well-being. But what most people don't realize is that these are just the short-term consequences of poor sleep hygiene—the long-term effects are far worse.

What is good sleep hygiene?

Good sleep hygiene is all about creating an environment that is conducive to a good night's sleep. This includes things like going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and keeping your bedroom dark and cool.

What are the benefits of Sleep hygiene?

There are several benefits to good sleep hygiene. For one, it can make you feel more rested and refreshed in the morning. It will also improve your mood and mental well-being by reducing fatigue and insomnia, both of which commonly lead to irritability and depression.

Sharp memory

When you practice good sleeping hygiene, you'll find that your memory works much better. A good night's sleep is essential for sharp learning and memory function, as it allows the brain to form mental connections more efficiently and retrieve memories with greater accuracy.
People with poor sleeping hygiene often have habits that interfere with their ability to fall asleep.

Improved immune system

When you have enough sleep, your immune system is better able to fight off infections. When you don't get enough sleep, it doesn't work so well—which is why the people who are most at risk of getting sick are often those who don't get enough rest.

Enhanced muscle repair

When you work out, your muscles experience microscopic damage. This damage is repaired while you sleep, so if you don't get enough sleep, your muscles will not repair as well, and you will be more prone to injury.

Increased energy levels

For your energy to be at its peak, you should aim to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. Anything less than that, and you'll start to feel the effects of fatigue throughout the day.

What are some examples of poor sleep hygiene?

Poor sleeping habits can take many different forms, but some of the most common ones are listed below.

Consuming caffeine or alcohol before bed

When you take stimulants right before bed, they will have a much stronger effect on you. They can keep you awake well past your intended bedtime by preventing the neurotransmitters in your brain from slowing down.

Watching television or working on the computer in bed

If you love watching television in bed, you might think that it can help you fall asleep faster. But in reality, this is one of the worst ways to fall asleep because it keeps your brain stimulated and prevents your body from winding down naturally.

Working out right before bed

If you work out and then try to go straight to bed, your body will still be stimulated. That means that you won't be able to fall asleep easily and will probably find yourself tossing and turning for hours.

Sleeping in on the weekends

If you struggle with sleeping problems, avoid sleeping in on your days off. Even if you feel like getting more sleep is a good thing, it actually has the opposite effect by throwing your body's natural sleep rhythm off balance.

How to improve your sleeping hygiene!

Exercise regularly

If you struggle with insomnia, regular exercise can help your body wind down at night. Just be sure to keep your workouts earlier in the day, so you have enough time to recover before bedtime.

Set a relaxing bedtime ritual

Creating a calming bedtime ritual is one of the best ways to ensure that you fall asleep quickly and enjoy a restful night's sleep. You can include things like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or journaling in your bedtime routine.

Limit caffeine intake

Quit drinking coffee afternoon, so it doesn't keep you up at night, and switch to decaf tea if you need an afternoon pick-me-up. Just make sure that you don't have caffeinated drinks too late in the day or you risk disrupting your sleep.

Avoid alcohol before bedtime

Alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, but it will disrupt your sleep cycle later in the night. The more often you drink before bed, the more disrupted your sleep will be.

Do not watch TV in bed

If you want to fall asleep quickly, avoid watching television or working on the computer in bed. These activities will keep your brain stimulated and make it harder for you to fall asleep.

The importance of sleep is something that can't be understated. It's not just about feeling rested; it also impacts your cognitive function and immune system. If you're looking to improve how well you think or feel each day, make sure you prioritize getting enough restful sleep at night.

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