Do you have difficulty in falling asleep? Do you wake up often? Are you unable to have sound sleep? Do you check time frequently? Do you wake up because of nightmares? Do you often feel tired during the day? The answer to all the above questions is ‘SLEEP HYGIENE’ Sleeping ain’t a passive activity as considered by layman, researchers say that it is a highly active process during which the days event are processed and energy is restored. Following are 15 practices and habits that you may inculcate to improvise your sleeping experience:
- Be aware of how much you should sleep, people of different age groups require different amount of sleep (for adults its 7-8 hours).
- Wear loose, comfortable cotton clothes or sleep naked for your body to stretch and relax.
- Ensure that your mattress is comfortable (neither too soft nor too hard) to avoid sprained back.
- Change bedsheet and pillow covers every alternate day to avoid catching bacterial or fungal infections.
- Heavy and dark coloured curtains are preferred for bedroom to block light. You may also use blinds.
- Take a bath or Wash your face, hand and feet prior to bed. This will make you fresh for a better sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bedtime as they deduce sleep. However, a glass of milk is sleep inducing.
- Try to not exceed your daytime naps more than 20-30 minutes, otherwise you will have difficulty falling asleep at night
- Keep consistent sleep schedule, as our brain-body functions in a cyclic manner. Basically fix the time when you will go to bed and when you will wake up and follow the same everyday.
- Don’t go to bed if you are not sleepy. Laying awake in bed will allow your brain to associate not sleeping with the bed.
- Avoid heavy meal for dinner. You may have salad or light snacks not only to experience better sleep but also to regulate metabolism.
- Keep gadgets at least half an hour before scheduled sleeping time as the radiations and lights negatively impact our sleep.
- If your pet wakes you up, it would be a better idea to keep it out of the bedroom.
- Exercise during the day to physically tire your body. Tired and stretched muscles will impel sleep.
- Devote your bedtime to sleep and sex only. Doing any other activity in your sleeping space will fool your brain and deprive you of sleep.
You can also Start with your own bedtime rituals; you may meditate, write diary, try aromatherapy maintain gratitude journal, try deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, read a novel, take warm bathe, listen to sleep inducing music etc. However, if you still face difficulty during bedtime, It could be due to stress anxiety or other sleeping disorder. If the problem persists, you should maintain a sleep diary and see a therapist.
SCIENCE OF SLEEP HYGIENE