Your Sleep Hygiene
Remember my recent post about 7 ways to quickly improve your life?
This is a follow-up post. Today I am giving you a simple guide on the basics of a great sleep hygiene. You will see results quickly and it will help kickstart your better future! There is no turning back from having good sleep!
First things first, what is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is the sum of your habits and practices regarding your sleep. When you go to bed, when you wake up, how you wake up, what you do before and after you sleep etc.
You can already imagine what enormous impact your sleep habits have on your day. And how many ways there are to improve your sleep and adapt it to your own individual needs.
Which is amazing because it gives you a simple, readily available way to improve your life almost instantly in countless ways. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s see how you can achieve a great sleep hygiene!
Sleep hygiene is the sum of your habits and practices regarding your sleep.
Step 0: Sleep Hygiene Basics
Great sleep hygiene requires the following ingredients:
Consistency: You need to stick to your routines and your sleep rythm so your internal clock can adjust itself permanently. In return, your body will automatically learn how to sleep efficiently and make the most out of your Zzz’s every night. Additionally, you will have an easier time falling asleep and waking up (possibly even without an alarm!).
Routine: Routines are where you can wire your daily sleep phase to habits you want to establish and health routines you want to be consistent with. Tieing them to a consistent sleep rythm helps you stick to your habits and start as well as conclude your days well!
Enjoyment: Sleep needs to be comfortable, dreams need to be sweet. Unenjoyable sleep is like a chore. Sleep should recharge you, not make you feel worse after you wake up. Give your brain a good break every day.
With these basics in mind, we can now look at the components of good sleep hygiene!
Step 1: Before sleeping
When you go to sleep, you are setting up your night. Make sure to start into your dreams well!
How do you do this? You need to make sure you fall asleep quickly, therefore avoid all caffeine, media and heavy foods 2 hours before you intend to fall asleep. Also, narrow down your time to fall asleep to roughly a half an hour range. Consistency!
This is a great window to place habits in (routine!). Reflect on your day, talk to others, read a book and take care of yourself. Use your evening window to calm yourself and ease yourself into a sleepy state of mind while still learning, being active or productive.
What matters most is to set yourself up for an easy time falling asleep and to use your evening hours well, but without making your mind rumble too much. Enjoyment!
Common mistakes to avoid here: browsing social media right before sleeping, watching TV or YouTube, exercising or showering right before going to bed.
Step 2: While you are asleep
There are so many mistakes commonly made here, when you are actually your most passive.
Yes, changing habits during sleep is hard, but it can be accomplished with consistency.
For example, you should always sleep on your back to keep your back, neck etc. healthy. Also, you should invest in a good mattress, bed, pillows and sheets. Trust me, it will pay off when you have a good back while others are already feeling old!
Finally, you should experiment a lot with lighting, open or closed windows, temperature etc. to see what fits you best. Enjoyment is most important here, obviously. If your sleep is enjoyable and you are not committing any major faux pas (like sleeping on your belly), you should be fine.
Common mistakes: allowing disruptions (phone, mosquitoes, etc.), unhealthy bed, sleeping on your side or stomach.
Step 3: Waking up
Do not snooze.
I repeat: DO NOT SNOOZE.
Seriously, snoozing will mess up your sleep rythm. Train your body to consistently get up at roughly the same time. Soon enough, you won’t need to snooze anymore. You just need to figure out how much sleep you need per day. Chances are it will be between 6 and 8 hours.
What also helps and what I have been doing for a long time is to move your alarm (be it on a dedicated clock or on your smartphone) to the other end of the room so you have to get up.
Common mistakes to avoid: snoozing, staying in bed after waking up, snoozing, snoozing, inconsistent wake up times, snoozing, snoozing and snoozing.
Bonus tip: Figure out how long your sleep cycles are and adjust your sleep time. For example, if you have sleep cycles averaging 1 1/2 hours, try to sleep 6 or 7 1/2 hours so you aren’t awoken admist a sleep cycle. Keep in mind sleep cycles vary greatly as you continue to sleep.
Step 4: After getting up
Do your bed immediately after getting up.
Just do it, trust me.
After getting up, your mind is fresh and it is a good time to have consistent morning routines. They will help kickstart your day and also your morning is a great time to do various things everyday, such as writing down your daily goals.
Common mistakes to avoid: staying in bed after waking up, taking too long to get ready, inconsistent wake up times, starting your day out with negative thoughts, not having goals in mind.
Step 5: During the day (!)
Resist the temptation to take naps. Your body will adjust to sleeping only and ONLY during your sleep phase. Only at night.
Conclusion – Sleep Hygiene Basics
Rules of thumb for good sleep hygiene
- Be consistent.
- Tie your sleep to routines.
- Make sure your sleep is enjoyable.
Thank you for reading, please leave a comment with feedback and suggestions! ^^