How’s Your Sleep Hygiene?
No I am not talking about whether you have a bath or shower before bed! I mean what is your night time routine.
Do you find you are experiencing regular sleep disturbances? Are you feeling really tired during the day? How long does it take for you to fall asleep?
If you find that one of the above is happening to you on a regular basis then it is time to evaluate your routine and bedtime habits. By making a few simple changes can make a big difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning. Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health.
Steps to a Healthy Sleep
Sleep needs vary depending on our age and it is especially impacted by lifestyle and health however it is also is important not to have too much as well as too little.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. When it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. We often turn to a glass of wine to relax us but in fact it can have the opposite affect and can cause us to wake in the middle of the night as our body processes the alcohol, which as we know is sugar. How many of you have had a few glasses of wine only to wake up in the middle of the night, perhaps feeling hot and uncomfortable?
Steering clear of food that can be disruptive right before sleep. Heavy or rich foods, fatty or fried meals, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion for some people. There is also now research showing how Prebiotics can in fact help sleep, so it is about getting the right nutrition!
Exercising can promote good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can drastically improve night time sleep quality.
Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light during the course of the day. Exposure to sunlight during the day, as well as darkness at night, helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Turn the computers off and step away from your phone at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. The blue light from the screens we spend hours looking at is like sunlight, so stimulating your brain to be awake which then leads to not being able to fall asleep.
A regular nightly routine helps the body recognize that it is bedtime. So perhaps this could be that having enjoyed exercise at class you come home to a warm shower or bath, then relax with a book
Last but not least, make sure that your sleeping environment is cool, that your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive and that all those electronic devices are kept elsewhere.
See what simple changes you can make to your night time routine so you can enjoy and benefit from an amazing night’s sleep… zzzzzz