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Habits For Healthy Sleep

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Creating a Sleep-Inducing Bedroom

An essential tip to help fall asleep quickly and easily is to make your bedroom a place of comfort and relaxation. Though this might seem obvious, it’s often overlooked, contributing to difficulties getting to sleep and sleeping through the night.

In designing your sleep environment, focus on maximizing comfort and minimizing

distractions with these tips:


Avoid Light Disruption

Excess light exposure can throw off your sleep and circadian rhythm. Blackout

curtains over your windows or a sleep mask for over your eyes can block light and prevent it from interfering with your rest.


Cultivate Peace and Quiet

Keeping noise to a minimum is an important part of building a sleep-positive bedroom. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to stop abrasive sounds from bothering you when you want to sleep.


Find an Agreeable Temperature

You don’t want your bedroom temperature to be a distraction by feeling too hot or

too cold. The ideal temperature can vary based on the individual, but most research

supports sleeping in a cooler room that is around 18 C.


Introduce Pleasant Aromas

A light scent that you find calming can help ease you into sleep. Essential oils with natural aromas, such as lavender, can provide a soothing and fresh smell for your bedroom.



Optimizing Your Sleep Schedule

Taking control of your daily sleep schedule is a powerful step toward getting better sleep. To start harnessing your schedule for your benefit, try implementing these four strategies:


Set a Fixed Wake-Up Time

It’s close to impossible for your body to get accustomed to a healthy sleep routine if you’re constantly waking up at different times. Pick a wake-up time and stick with it, even on weekends or other days when you would otherwise be tempted to sleep in.

Budget Time for Sleep

If you want to make sure that you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each tight, then you need to build that time into your schedule. Considering your fixed wake-up time, work backwards and identify a target bedtime. Whenever possible, give yourself extra time before bed to get ready for sleep.


Be Careful with Naps

To sleep better at night, it’s important to use caution with naps. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it can throw off your sleep schedule and make it harder to get to sleep when you want to. The best time to snap is shortly after lunch in the early afternoon, and the best nap length is around 20 minutes.


Adjust Your Schedule Gradually

When you need to change your sleep schedule, it’s best to make adjustments little-by-little and over time with a maximum difference of 1-2 hours per night . This allows your body to get used to the changes so that following your new schedule is more sustainable.


Crafting a Pre-Bed Routine

If you have a hard time falling asleep, it’s natural to think that the problem starts when you lie down in bed. In reality, though, the lead-up to bedtime plays a crucial role in preparing you to fall asleep quickly and effortlessly.

Poor pre-bed habits are a major contributor to insomnia and other sleep problems. Changing these habits can take time, but the effort can pay off by making you more relaxed and ready to fall asleep when bedtime rolls around.

As much as possible, try to create a consistent routine that you follow each night because this helps reinforce healthy habits and signals to mind and body that bedtime is approaching. As part of that routine, incorporate these three tips:


Wind Down for at Least 30 Minutes

It’s much easier to doze off smoothly if you are at-ease. Quiet reading, low-impact stretching, listening to soothing music, and relaxation exercises are examples of ways to get into the right frame of mind for sleep.


Lower the Lights

Avoiding bright light can help you transition to bedtime and contribute to your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.


Disconnect from Devices

Tablets, cell phones, and laptops can keep your brain wired, making it hard to truly wind down. The light from these devices can also suppress your natural production

of melatonin. As much as possible, try to disconnect for 30 minutes or more before going to bed.


Fostering Pro-Sleep Habits During the Day

Setting the table for high-quality sleep is an all-day affair. A handful of steps that you can take during the day can pave the way for better sleep at night.


See the Light of Day

Our internal clocks are regulated by light exposure. Sunlight has the strongest effect, so try to take in daylight by getting outside or opening up windows or blinds to natural light. Getting a dose of daylight early in the day can help normalize your circadian rhythm. If natural light isn’t an option, you can talk with your doctor about using a light therapy box.


Find Time to Move

Daily exercise has across-the-board benefits for health, and the changes it initiates in energy use and body temperature can promote solid sleep. Most experts advise against intense exercise close to bedtime because it may hinder your body’s ability to effectively settle down before sleep.


Avoid Caffeine

Caffeinated drinks, including coffee, tea, and fizzy drinks, are among the most popular beverages in the world, however they are harmful to our health. Some people are tempted to use the jolt of energy from caffeine to try to overcome daytime sleepiness, but that approach isn’t sustainable and can cause long-term sleep deprivation. To prevent this, it is best to avoid these drinks.


 

More resources on healthy sleep habits


Facts with Hope on Sleep


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