Sleep Hygiene — what is it and do you need it? Turns out there is a term for your bedtime rituals and nightly habits. Collectively, these behaviours are known as sleep hygiene.
They are the rituals, behaviours and norms you follow around sleep.
Regularly pulling all-nighters, or sleeping in on the weekends so you can “make up” for lost sleep are both examples of poor sleep hygiene.
Conversely, following a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine late at night are good sleep hygiene practices. Whether you practise good or bad sleep hygiene... it's all up to you .
Common sleeping problems are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years, or is some cases... even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few minor adjustments to your sleep hygiene! To help, we've put together three tips:
Tip one: Obey your body clock
The body’s alternating sleep-wake cycle is controlled by an internal ‘clock’ within the brain. Most bodily processes (such as temperature and brain states) are synchronised to this 24-hour physiological clock. Yes, to get a good nights sleep i means you need to start working with your body clock, not against it. Your late-night Netflix binge might just need to wait!
- Set a sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day (even on weekends). Soon this strict routine will help to ‘set’ your body clock and you’ll find yourself getting sleepy at about the same time every night.
- Don’t ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you it’s ready.
- Don’t go to bed if you don’t feel tired. You will only reinforce bad habits such as lying awake.
- Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.
Tip two: improve your sleeping environment
If you create a room environment that you makes you feel relaxed and at peace, good sleep is more likely to come. Suggestions include:
- Room need a revamp? Choose colours, bedding and decorations that make you feel calm and peaceful inside. It’s also helpful (though sometimes a struggle - we know), to keep your room clean and uncluttered. And yes, this does mean making the bed.
- Make sure the room is at the right temperature for sleeping. The ideal snooze temperature is between 15 - 19 degrees celsius, according to the National Sleep Foundation. That's because the cooler you are, the sleepier you become.
- If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs, annoying loud neighbours or even the hubby's snoring), invest in a pair of earplugs or a white noise machine
- Use your bedroom only for sleeping and intimacy. If you treat your bed like a second lounge room – for watching movies or talking to friends on the phone, for example – your mind will associate your bedroom with activity
Tip three: consider your nighttime routine
Those final hours before bed can directly impact the quality of your sleep - how long it takes for you to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and how well-rested you feel the next day. Tips for a nighttime routine include:
- Limiting your blue light before bedtime - Save your Netflix binge or email catch up time for earlier in the evening and declare the hour before bedtime a digital-free zone.
- Incorporate a warm bath into your routine - Turning your mind off at the end of the day can be challenging, especially during those stressful and busy times. A nighttime soak is a great way to signal to your body that it’s time to switch off from the day, and transition into a more relaxing, unwinding state (just don't forget to add your Magnesium flakes!).
- Give yourself a sleep boost - Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of help. Getting that much-needed rest can be hard, which is why we’ve combined all of the current scientific information available on sleep to create the ultimate sleep ritual essential, the Magnesium Sleep Lotion. With calming lavender and chamomile, combined with the amazing benefits of magnesium, you’ll be well on your way to a deeper slumber in no time at all.
What are the benefits of good sleep hygiene?
Good sleep hygiene sets the stage for a restful night when your body heals and restores itself, and leaves you more focused, more productive and more present the next day. Getting quality sleep is important for your health: it strengthens your immune system, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and lowers your risk for serious health conditions. Good sleep can even improve your mood and your memory!
When you sleep better, you feel better.