Sleep Hygiene – How to Get the Best Sleep Possible
Are you one of those people who wake up in the morning but still feel tired like you haven’t slept at all? Well, the most likely reason is that you don’t have a proper sleep hygiene, which is the recommended duration for a healthy and restful sleep. Mind you, you’re still likely to experience stress and fatigue as you go through the rest of the day! I’m sure you know what I mean!
So, you should get enough sleep so you can significantly increase the quality of your life. However, to do so may require you to make some lifestyle changes as well. Please scroll down and read.
These guidelines we are giving will encourage you to practice what sleep experts call “sleep hygiene.” They are based on the habits of famous people who experienced the same troubles as you have with sleep.
1. Be Consistent with Your Sleep Schedule
Your body has an internal biological clock. It knows when it needs to sleep or be awake, when to eat or not. Disrupting this clock is not good for your health. You should always go to bed and rise up on a consistent time schedule. But be sure you sleep through an average of 8 hours every night!
2. Unwind with a Bedtime Ritual
Why not do something that helps you relax before bedtime? Some people find it effective do so, like reading a book, listening to soft music, taking a warm bath, drinking turmeric, and the likes (avoid caffeine, though). There is always a relaxing activity that can help you put away all the stress of the day.
Did you know that the actress, Tallulah Bankhead, hired people who would hold her hand before she goes to bed? Not saying that you do just that, but it’s an example of a relaxing routine before sleep (for her).
Do you know that Arianna Huffington’s bedtime routine is taking a bath on the tub with Epsom salt and lavender oil?
3. Don’t Sleep during Daytime
Unless your job involves night work, it’s not advisable to take naps during the day. Yes, a quick nap can indeed promote good moods but long daytime naps can take away your yearning for a good night’s sleep. If you are to take a nap, make sure it’s not beyond 3pm.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercising during the day is a great way to exhaust your reflexes, enough to make you sleepy when night falls. Even light exercises are beneficial when done often. But then again, avoid doing exercise too close to bedtime. Physical activity wakes up the neurons and muscles, something that you need during the day and not at night time.
5. Ensure the Place is Conducive to Sleeping
Your bedroom’s ambiance should be soothing enough to make you sleep. It should be pleasantly cool but not too cold. The recommended temperature is 60^F to 67^F.
Noises are a big no-no, of course! Use a “white noise” device inside your room or put earplugs in your ears to eliminate distracting sounds. Sleep therapists say it is best to sleep in complete darkness; the eyes can still detect light even when closed, which gives signals to your brain that it is daytime and thus keeps you awake.
Do you know that Mariah Carey sleeps with 20 humidifiers around her bed?
Do you know that Eminem covers his bedroom windows with tin foil to keep the light out?
6. Don’t Settle for Anything Less than a Comfortable Bed
A comfortable mattress is must for a comfortable sleep… and that includes comfortable pillows as well. If your mattress is already old and has compromised your ability to lie down comfortably, then it’s time to replace it with a new one. The same goes with your pillows.
It is important that your mattress supports your spine in its natural posture, while pillows should allow the neck to align comfortably even in different sleeping positions.
7. Avoid Caffeine and Tobacco Prior to Bedtime
Coffee, chocolate, and tea all contain caffeine, which is a popular stimulant. Don’t go on a drinking spree with those beverages 3 hours before going to bed. Same goes with any tobacco products such as cigarettes. Tobacco contains nicotine, a substance that can make your heart beat faster or cause palpitations.
8. Put the Gadgets Away When You’re in Bed
Smart phones and tablets radiate blue white that can excite your eyes prompting your brain to think that you are doing something important. We recommend you put them away and avoid making them your sleeping buddies.
Do you know that Arianna Huffington needs to take all her gadgets out of her bedroom so she can go to sleep?
9. Remember, the Bedroom is for Sleep and Sex ONLY!
Work and study should not be done inside the bedroom. Associating your bedroom with anything else other than sex and sleep can make you anxious and feeling stressed, which in turn can interrupt your sleeping mood.
No computer, no work materials in the bedroom – PERIOD!
10. Watch the Food You Eat at Night
Spicy foods and fatty meals are great for eating if you don’t want to sleep right away. Eating a light meal before bedtime is good for promoting sleep.
Also, try to avoid alcohol consumption. Some people think that it makes them sleep, but the thing is, it only makes them dependent on it. What if there’s no liquor available? Does that mean you won’t sleep too? That’s not good!
Still Don’t Have Proper Sleep Hygiene Yet?
If after following all these sleep hygiene tips and you still can’t doze off, then maybe it’s time to consult a sleeping therapist. If you prefer to call them sleep therapist so as not confuse it for a therapist who always sleeps, then so be it. What’s important is you get medical help if need be, lest your sleeping disorder gets the best of you. You don’t want to be walking like a zombie during the daytime, do you?
Sleeping disorders are not uncommon as most people think.
Did you know that Mary Shelley, the novelist who wrote Frankenstein, suffered parasomnia and sleep paralysis?
Do you know that pop music legend, Madonna, takes medication for her chronic insomnia?
How about Shaquille O’Neal? Do you know he’s a sleep apnoea sufferer?
So don’t think you’re alone in your struggle to get a good night’s sleep! Just keep in mind the above “sleep hygiene” tips and, hopefully, you doze off to dream zone tonight.
Nikolovska, H. “Bizarre Sleeping Habits of Famous People.” Disturb Me Not.