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What is Sleep Hygiene?

sleep peacefully

Do you wake up everyday feeling like you need more sleep? Or even after sleeping for a long time you wake up feeling tired? Then you need to have proper sleep hygiene.

Sleeping problems have grown massively in recent years. And the major reason for this is our lifestyle. Did you know that about 1 in every 3 Americans can’t get enough sleep every day? This was found by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Not just that. About 40% of adults in the U.S. fall asleep during the day against their will.

Keeping serious sleep disorders that need medical attention aside, one of the reasons why you might not get a good night’s sleep is poor sleep hygiene.  

Understanding Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene consists of certain environmental and behavioural conditions to help you fall asleep every night. Meaning you create a conducive environment for sleep and follow a routine every night to help you fall asleep at the right time and have a good night’s sleep. 

Though sleep hygiene was created in the 1970s for patients with insomnia to help them get sleep every night, it can equally benefit every person. Nowadays, it’s mandatory. 

According to this 2019 study, Insomnia in Older Adults,  about 75% of adults experience symptoms of sleep disorder like insomnia. But do you know what poor sleep can do to you in the long run? 

What are the effects of poor sleep?

Poor sleep can affect you both in the short term and in the long term. 

Some short-term effects of poor sleep are feeling sleepy and tired throughout the day, waking up with a stale mood, lower quality of life and forgetting stuff. 

Long-term effects are more damaging. Because you see these effects after consistent poor sleep for years. Sometimes they can’t be reversed. Some of the long term effects are weight gain in the future, developing heart diseases, diabetes and even a reduced life span. 

Benefits of sleep hygiene

Having proper sleep hygiene can benefit you in many ways. Whether you have sleeping problems or not, it can help you have a proper night’s sleep as well as maintain the circadian rhythm. Different ways sleep hygiene can benefit you are : 

  • Be able to focus more on your work and studies.
  • Experience a positive mood throughout the day.
  • Feel more energised each day after waking up.
  • Decrease chances of weight gain in the future.
  • Improve the quality of your life. 
  • Decrease stress. 

How to practise sleep hygiene?

You can easily start practising sleep hygiene and take small steps. Doing all things at once might feel overwhelming. Just start one or two habits and you can later build on that. Slowly, it’ll start to become a part of your life. Here are some ways you can start practising sleep hygiene today.

Create a bedtime routine  

A bedtime routine is a set of calming activities you do each day to wind down and let your body know that you’re preparing for sleep. This helps to fall asleep faster and at the same time every day.  For example, you can read a physical book before bed or listen to some calming music to help you fall asleep faster. It can be this simple or more elaborate, including meditation, light exercise, feet massage and more. Your choice!

No technology in the bedroom

Removing any type of electronic gadgets from your room that keeps you awake is very important here. It is best if you can have a separate room for work and studies. Technology-free bedrooms help to create a suitable environment for deep sleep. You can, of course, keep the ones which help you to sleep. So, leave the distracting tech outside your room and have a peaceful night’s sleep!

No late dinner

Did you know that having an early and light dinner can help you sleep better each night? So, avoid late night dinners and try to have your dinner at least two to three hours before going to bed. You get better sleep when the food is already digested.

Engage in some physical activity daily

Doing some sort of physical activity in the sunlight everyday plays a big role in helping you to get a good night’s sleep. When you exercise, your heart is pumping, and it’s priming your body for better sleep. Exercise releases certain chemicals in your brain that help you get a restful night. So, move your body and sleep like a baby!

Check your caffeine intake

Coffee and tea are all anti-sleep beverages, so be mindful of how much of these you’re taking throughout the day. Try not to have any caffeine from the afternoon onwards. Because it get’s the way of your body trying to wind down. And you’ll not fall asleep early. So cut down your caffeine intake for a deep sleep at night!

Try Alora Sleep App

Featuring carefully hand-picked sounds, bedtime stories and guided sleep meditations, the Alora sleep app is a safe haven for millions to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It is also a wise choice to improve your sleep hygiene.

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