Sleep Hygiene: Get Better Sleep Quality, Live Better Days

In the US, 70 percent of adults experience insufficient sleep at least once a month, and 11 percent report inadequate sleep every night. If you’re one of the people who lie awake in bed for hours, you should reevaluate your sleep hygiene. This refers to a variety of practices that can improve your sleep quality.

Follow this quick guide to finally getting a good night’s rest:

  1. Get quality sheets and mattresses

Skimping on beddings can interfere with good sleep hygiene. Purchase softer, more durable bed sheets and pillowcases instead of cheap ones to ensure comfortable, uninterrupted sleep.

Choose bed covers that promote better sleep quality, such as silk or bed sheets made from bamboo. These kinds of fabrics are more comfortable than cotton and other more common beddings. They have thicker fibers, so they’re softer and more breathable. Compared to other materials that can be hot and stuffy, these are more capable of keeping you at the ideal temperature for sleeping, which is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The thicker weave acts as insulation, perfect for keeping you warm or cool, depending on the season.

  1. Establish a sleep routine

Your body follows its internal circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle. Avoid staying up late because this interferes with your internal body clock, which may cause an unfavorable sleep pattern. Listen to your body when it tells you that it’s tired and ready to turn in for the night.

Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. Your body will internalize this routine and induce sleepiness at the same time each night, helping you go to sleep faster.

Also, avoid using your phone or laptop before going to bed because these gadgets emit blue light, which promotes wakefulness. Instead, establish simple bedtime rituals, such as meditating or listening to calming music, to relax your body and mind. These can prep your body and signal that it’s time for bed.

  1. Commit to a healthy lifestyle

two women eating saladsApart from healthy bedtime habits, your lifestyle is also a big factor to getting sufficient and proper sleep. Pay attention to what you eat, especially at night. Feeling hungry or too full before bedtime means you’re too uncomfortable to doze off. There are also certain food products that can cause restless sleep, such as spicy food. These can cause acid reflux, which will affect the quality of your slumber.

It’s also best to avoid alcohol hours before you turn in for the night. Most people think drinking before bed promotes sleepiness. But going to bed inebriated may cause hangovers the following day, which can bring on restlessness and sluggishness.

Nicotine also impedes quality sleep. A common misconception among smokers is that cigarettes help them relax. But nicotine is a stimulant. Smoking causes an accelerated heart rate and increased blood pressure, which is likely to keep you up longer.

  1. Consult with a doctor

If the quality of your sleep still doesn’t improve even after establishing healthy sleep hygiene, it may be time to consult with a specialist. Schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor to determine if you’re suffering from any sleep disorders.

A good night’s rest isn’t just about getting enough energy to get everything done the next day. It’s also about keeping your mind and body prepared for the rest of your waking days. So follow a routine, and sleep well.

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