Sleep hygiene is an essential part of your health whether you know that or not. Developed initially in the 1970s as a method for assisting people with mild to moderate insomnia symptoms, sleep hygiene has grown into an even greater practice for those wanting to have more control over their sleep environment and schedules.
On average, an adult that gets between seven to eight hours of sleep total each night experiences roughly 5 of those hours as restful sleep. However, factor in tossing and turning and you’re down a few hours. Poor sleep hygiene basically fronts itself as having a poor sleep environment. Meaning your space that you’re getting ready to sleep in is not ready and prepared for it. And if you don’t have set schedules and routines in place to go to sleep, this may also be a factor if you’re experiencing poor sleep hygiene.
The good news is that with a little help you can easily turn these things around and start to maintain good sleep hygiene.
How Do I Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?
The whole pretext of good sleep hygiene is all about putting yourself in a good place to get restful sleep during the night. This starts with your nightly habits. Do you have a sleep schedule? How about a nightly routine to prepare your mind for bed? Are there any habits in place that you can adjust to better suit your evening?
If you’re absolutely overwhelmed by these questions or you had no answer to them or answered with a giant question mark, don’t worry. We’ll break things down so that you can best improve your sleep hygiene with as little confusion as possible.
It may feel like you’re going back to your childhood with this one, but in reality you’re going back to basics. Having a set schedule for when you’re going to sleep and waking up normalizes sleep. It helps to get your mind and body ready for its down time. There are a few things you’ll want to consider when creating your sleep schedule to best fix your poor sleep hygiene.
Fixed Sleep and Wake Up Times
First of all, you’ll want to start off by making gradual adjustments to your sleep times. If you go immediately into it, your body will let you know just how much it doesn’t like the “cold turkey” approach. Instead, start with little shifts. Give your body gradual changes to get used to. You can do this by going to bed thirty minutes one week and then the next forty-five minutes early and so on until your body adjusts.
The same is true of your wakeup time if you’re currently waking up at say 6:30AM but you want to wake up at 5AM. The first week of fixing your sleep hygiene may look like you waking up at 6:15AM instead of 6:30AM, the week after that it may be 6AM. So on and so forth until you’ve achieved your wake up time of 5AM.
Prioritizing Sleep Over Temptation
Next up would be the hardest ideal to wrap your head around. That ideal is to prioritize your sleep. We’ve all been there, you’ve got an exam in the morning and you’re doing some last minute cramming. You were invited to a party and it’s running super late but you don’t want to be the first to leave so your sleep schedule takes a back seat as does your sleep hygiene you’ve worked so hard on.
It’s true, these things are extremely tempting to take part in. However, you’re really doing yourself a disservice by not prioritizing your sleep hygiene. Work to prioritize your sleep by setting a specific time you want to go to bed and wake up the next morning. Even if you’re off a little for the first few weeks, it’s more the effort you put into it that counts.
Nightly Routines for Sleep Hygiene
In this last section, we talked about the basics of improving your poor sleep hygiene. Now we need to put those things into practice. What does that mean? It means creating a nightly routine that you’ll love and look forward to each night. Here are a few ideas for setting yourself up for the best night of rest.
Consistency in Routine: Following the same routine or as much of the same routine each night can begin the process for your mind and body to start winding down. Whether that means changing into your favorite pjs, taking a steamy shower, or turning your phone off. Once you start your routine and it becomes consistent, your mind and body will get on the same page.
Dim the Lights: On top of setting a consistent routine, taking part in various tasks can prompt your body for good sleep hygiene. You can do this by reducing blue light that you’re exposed to closer to bed, as well as dimming lights so that it’s not quite as bright.
Unplug and Wind Down: Our minds are constantly sucking in information from our phones, computers, and other electronics. This can leave it overstimulated and overwhelmed at the end of the night. So how do we fix that? Give yourself 30 minutes of time before bed where you don’t look at anything on your phone, tv, or computer. In doing so, you’ll help your body create melatonin naturally which will help you fall asleep that much faster.
Your Bedroom Matters
Having a comfortable sleep environment that achieves all of your sleep hygiene needs is important when working to fix poor sleep hygiene. A few things to remember include having a comfortable mattress and pillow. If you know goldy locks then you’ll know that mattresses and pillows are not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. So be picky when choosing yours.
Next, make sure your bedroom is a comfortable temperature. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night sweating through your sheets, nor do you want to have it feeling like it’s the north pole. In most cases, 65 degrees fahrenheit seems to do the trick.
Finally, block out light. It may seem obvious to some, but it’s not always completely obvious which is why this portion is included in this article. You want to block out light because you’re working to prevent interruptions in your sleep as much as possible.
Peptides for Sleep
Of course, if you still need a little help with sleep then you may want to consider peptides. Peptides naturally occur within the body. However, as we age and go through different parts of our cycles these little helpers tend to dissipate.
You can counteract that with the help of synthetic peptides such as DSIP when it comes to sleep. DSIP is a peptide known to aid in the sleep cycles so that you can achieve the highest quality of sleep imaginable. You can learn more about how DSIP can help you sleep when you click here.
Sleep hygiene is not a new concept, nor is it a concept that will be going away anytime soon. Now that you’ve got an understanding of how it works, you too can enjoy a restful night’s sleep.