Sleep Hygiene – What Does it Mean and Why Is It Important?

2 children lying on bed

Have you ever wondered what is meant by sleep hygiene and what you can do to improve it? If you’re someone that struggles with falling asleep, then it’s crucial you understand how to have better sleep hygiene. Here, we’ll be outlining what sleep hygiene is and the best ways to improve your bedtime habits. 

What is Sleep Hygiene? 

Generally speaking, sleep hygiene refers to your sleeping habits, with the best techniques giving you a better night’s sleep. Meanwhile, poor nighttime habits will lead to a less restful slumber overall.  

Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?

Implementing the most effective sleep techniques is critical for ensuring that you get a good night’s rest. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a major endeavour and instead, mostly involves staying consistent with your habits.

Below, we’ve summarized several easy-to-follow techniques you can try to get more restful sleep.

Key Sleep Hygiene Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Sleep 

woman sleeping on bed under blankets. Proper sleep hygiene helps you sleep better.

Without a doubt, improving your overall quality of sleep is an important goal for both your physical and mental health. With this in mind, it’s best you understand how effective sleep hygiene techniques can improve your sleep. 

Fortunately, many of the best tips are very straightforward and easy to implement into your own lifestyle. Backed by many health and sleep experts, several of the best sleepytime tips include the following.

Create a Suitable, Comfortable Environment

Always ensure your bedroom is dark, comfortable, and calming. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s a critical component in getting a quality night’s sleep. Without a comfortable environment, you’ll likely struggle to fall asleep (and will generally have a less restful slumber when you do). As such, starting with the proper environment is undeniably crucial.

Turn Off Those Screens

Find yourself scrolling through social media aimlesslessly before bed? Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of it. The main issue with browsing your phone or computer before bed though is the fact that blue light emitted from the display sends signals to your brain to stay awake. During the day, we experience blue light from the sun, however, at night, the world is naturally dark and we must try to keep our bedtime areas this way for a better night’s rest. Try to turn off your phone, computer, tablet and TVs at least 30 minutes before you plan on going to bed. 

Stick to a Sleep Schedule

There’s always something satisfying about having a good, long lie-in on your day off work or school. However, this can actually interfere with your sleep schedule and potentially make you feel sleepier throughout the day. As such, choosing a sleeping and waking time that’s roughly consistent every day may help to improve your sleep hygiene and help you wake up feeling refreshed rather than groggy.

Avoid Large Meals Before Bed

We often feel incredibly sleepy right after enjoying a large meal (the post-Thanksgiving drowsiness is a prime example!). However, going to bed on a full stomach may make it a little harder to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Larger meals take longer to digest and any stomach discomfort will keep you up. As is recommended by CDC, you should ideally limit the size of meals before bed, or otherwise, eat earlier so that this doesn’t cause an issue.

Exercise is Crucial

Did you know: proper sleep hygiene is about more than just your activities before bed? In fact, regular exercise throughout the day is a highly effective way to ensure that you get a restful sleep each and every night. At the very least, try to walk more throughout your day to not only improve your sleep but also your circulation, lungs and mental health. 

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your overall quality of sleep, then we hope that these sleep hygiene tips and tricks help you make the right choices for your own sleep patterns. In fact, proper sleep hygiene doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve with the right techniques and habits. And best of all, the payoff is truly worth the effort since it does you a world of good when you wake up feeling rested and ready to face the day.

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