Sleepless No More this 2024! How Sleep Hygiene Helps
Sleepless No More this 2024! How Sleep Hygiene Helps
What’s your goal this 2024? If you say, “To get good sleep,” you’re probably not alone.
Did you know that Filipinos are the fourth most sleepless people in the world? Sleep tracking application Sleep Cycle’s survey revealed that Filipino adults get only six hours and 30 minutes of sleep each night, which is below the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. From a global perspective, the Philippines is the most sleepless country in Southeast Asia last 2023 with 56 percent experiencing sleep problems.
Many factors affect your sleep cycle, from work problems, familial responsibilities, illnesses, and other causes of stress. But even if you’re tossing and turning a lot, this doesn’t mean you can’t solve the problem. Addressing these factors might seem complex, but adopting good habits can encourage better sleep.
One of the best tips for better sleep is practicing good sleep hygiene.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene refers to a set of healthy habits and adjustable environmental factors that promote quality slumber. Some sleeping problems are due to bad habits practiced over the years. When you practice proper sleep hygiene, you’re overhauling these habits with positive adjustments to your lifestyle. After all, your behaviors during the day can still affect the quality of your rest.
Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?
Good sleep hygiene matters because of how crucial a restful night is for your physical and mental health, as well as the overall quality of your life. Everyone, from kids to adults, benefits from a good night’s sleep, and sleep hygiene plays an important role in achieving this goal.
The benefits of good sleep hygiene are also priceless to your health. When you enjoy a restful night, you:
- Manage a healthy weight
- Don't get sick often
- Reduce the risk of health problems like heart disease and diabetes
- Are less stressed and happier
- Can think clearly during the day
When you have a hard time falling asleep, suffer from daytime sleepiness, or experience frequent sleep disturbances, these are signs of poor sleep hygiene. But as mentioned above, bad habits aren’t difficult to replace. This is what sleep hygiene is all about: building good habits so you can enjoy the best quality of slumber.
How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Prioritizing sleep hygiene means putting yourself in the best position to sleep well. Optimizing your daily routines, pre-bedtime routine, and sleep schedule is part of building habits that make good sleep feel more natural. At the same time, creating a cozy sleeping environment can increase your chances of dozing off.
Here are some tips to get good sleep. These aren’t strict requirements, but you can customize these suggestions to fit your lifestyle.
1. Optimize Your Bedroom
A crucial factor of sleep hygiene is where you sleep, aka the bedroom. If you want to doze off easily, your bedroom should be a place of relaxation and peace.
What makes a bedroom comfortable differs from one person to another. However, these tips can help make your room calm for a good night of rest:
- Block out the night and drown out the noise. Excessive noise and lighting are not welcome if you’re trying to get some sleep. Use an eye mask or install some heavy curtains in your bedroom to prevent the light from interrupting your sleep. When it comes to noise, earplugs can block them out effortlessly. However, if you don’t find them comfortable, try a white noise machine or use your fan to drown out the sounds.
- Clean beforehand. Clutter can be an eyesore. Keep everything in its proper place before you go to bed. Throw away trash and other unwanted belongings in Cheers’ Trash Bags. Go the extra mile by disinfecting your room because doing so reduces your risk of sickness. Sanitize your bedroom with Cheers Multi-Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant Concentrate, which is a highly concentrated formula that kills 99.99% of bacteria.
- Use comfortable pillows and mattresses. Where you sleep dictates how comfortably you sleep. So, choose the best mattress! The ideal mattress thickness is 10 to 12 inches for people between 130 and 230 pounds and at least 12 to 14 inches thick for people over 230 pounds. Don’t forget to also surround yourself with the fluffiest of pillows.
- Set the room to a comfortable temperature. The cooler it gets, the more comfortable your sleep will be. Set the temperature to 18 degrees Celsius.
- Fill your room with calming scents. Light scents calm your mind and cultivate a positive space for slumber. Lavender is a fan-favorite for sleep, but if you’re looking for other scents and wish to disinfect at the same time, Cheers Odor Neutralizer Spray is your bedtime buddy. A spritz or two of Odor Neutralizer Spray immediately freshens up your space and kills 99.9% of bacteria! Available in three scents: Autumn Pine, Winter Lush, and Summer Fields.
2. Establish a Nighttime Routine
Your pre-bedtime preparation determines how fast you fall asleep. Consider the following reminders when it comes to your nightly routine:
- Wind down for at least 30 minutes. This means avoiding using your gadgets for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Gadgets like your phone, laptop, or tablet stimulate your mind, which makes it difficult to rest. Plus, the blue light can decrease melatonin production. Also, take advantage of habits that put you in a state of relaxation (e.g. stretching, reading, or soft music).
- Avoid tossing and turning. The tossing and turning keeps you from feeling as if you’re going to sleep. If after 20 minutes you’re still struggling, get up and read or stretch your muscles. Do something that calms you down.
- Follow a consistent sleep schedule. Stick to a consistent sleep routine by sleeping and waking up at the same time. Not only will this help with your routine, but it can also lead to better sleep. Also, the amount of sleep you get every night contributes to the effectiveness of your sleep schedule. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Avoid taking naps if they keep you up at night. If you must rest during the day, a 30-minute afternoon power nap should do the trick.
3. Practice Healthy Habits Every Day
Getting a good night’s rest requires cultivating healthy habits daily. These positive routines can limit sleep disruptions and support your circadian rhythm. Some habits you can practice are:
- Be physically active. Practice regular exercise so you can easily sleep at night. Plus, a daily exercise routine keeps your body in good shape.
- Get some sunlight. Sunlight promotes better circadian rhythms, which improves the quality of your sleep.
- Do not smoke. People who smoke have reduced quality of sleep compared to non-smokers and people with insomnia. Nicotine stimulates the body in ways that interrupt your sleep. If you need another reason to not smoke, include better sleep!
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Some people think drinking alcohol makes it easier to fall asleep. On the contrary, once the effect wears off, you might find it harder to snooze. To improve your sleep quality, moderate your alcohol consumption and avoid drinking during the evening.
- Reduce caffeine consumption. Avoid caffeine, especially in the afternoon or at night. Since it is a stimulant, caffeine keeps you alert even if you want to sleep. Also, refrain from consuming excessive amounts of caffeine to compensate for your lack of sleep. This makes it more difficult to rest when you want to.
- Avoid eating dinner late at night. Heavy dinners late at night might lead to your body still digesting food when it should be resting completely. If you want to eat before bedtime, go for snacks that are on the lighter side.
4. Calm Your Mind
For some people, this is the biggest hindrance to achieving quality sleep. Some of them lie awake in bed at night because of their thoughts.
It’s natural to spend some time worrying about the next day. However, if you want to enjoy better sleep, changing thought habits matters. We can’t shut off our minds, but we can still try to make our thoughts calmer. Set aside your worries for tomorrow and think about your favorite holiday spots or create a fantasy dream place. If other thoughts come to mind, consider them for a bit and gently replace them with calmer thoughts.
If you still can’t sleep despite your best efforts, step out of the room and sort out your thoughts. Take deep breaths and try sleeping again a few minutes later.
Sleep Hygiene: Is It for Everyone?
In a nutshell, sleep hygiene is all about optimizing your habits and environment for better sleep. This concept applies to everyone, regardless of age. However, what ideal sleep hygiene can look like depends on the person.
Because of this, feel free to test different methods to determine what helps you sleep well at night. You need not overhaul your current routine at once. Instead, take small steps to improve how you sleep.
Another thing to consider: practicing sleep hygiene will not always solve sleeping problems. If you are experiencing sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia, sleep hygiene may improve your chances of a good slumber. However, it’s best to also consult your doctor first for treatment.
This New Year, getting good sleep should be a part of our resolutions. We all deserve a happier and well-rested 2024. So, keep these suggestions in mind and hopefully you’ll enjoy more peaceful slumbers this year!
And don’t forget to shop for your sleep hygiene needs at ShopHygiene!
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