Sleep Hygiene: 7 Simple Steps to Better Sleep

Did you know that your sleep accounts to a quarter or even up to a third of your whole lifespan? 

Sleep is for the weak? I strongly disagree!

Come to think of it, sleep is a major part of your life. If you think sleeping is but a passive activity, it isn’t. 

Sleep is a period during which the brain is engaged in several activities necessary to life. Having a good night’s sleep impacts the quality of your life. 

Maintain Healthy Sleeping Conditions With Sleep Hygiene

To have a good night’s sleep each time you hit the bed, form a good routine and healthy habits; this is where sleep hygiene comes in. 

The American Sleep Association (ASA) defines sleep hygiene as actions that you can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions.

Practicing sleep hygiene is key to supporting a healthy lifestyle. 

Or else, you will suffer from sleep disorders.

Top 10 Most Common Sleep Disorders

Lack of sleep have health consequences that are staggering, it is not an issue to take lightly. 

As a matter of fact, up to 70 million US adults have sleep disorder. Here are the top 10 most common sleep disorders:

  1. Insomnia
  2. Snoring
  3. Sleep apnea
  4. Restless Leg Syndrome
  5. Circadian Rhythm Disorder
  6. Narcolepsy
  7. Parasomnias
  8. Sleep Paralysis
  9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  10. Seasonal Affective Disorder

10 Bad Sleep Hygiene Habits That You Need to Break Immediately!

To avoid suffering from various sleep disorders, know what habits cause your restless nights.

In line with this, here are the 10 most common habits that give you restless nights:

  1. Ambient noise
  2. Temperature extremes
  3. Uncomfortable bedroom
  4. Excessive napping
  5. Excessive time in bed
  6. Irregular sleeping patterns
  7. Sedentary lifestyle
  8. Stimulating activity before bedtime
  9. Caffeine and alcoholic beverage intake before bedtime
  10. Drinking too much water at night

7 Simple Steps to a Good Sleep Hygiene

To build good sleep hygiene, you need to remedy the bad habits as mentioned above. 

Having said that, spending an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed — not too little or too excessive — is the foundation to good sleep hygiene. 

Here are 7 simple steps to a good sleep hygiene:

  1. Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes. Naps aren’t a substitute for bedtime sleep, so don’t take long naps. A quick nap of 20-30 minutes would do.
  2. Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime. With alcoholic beverages, moderation is key. While alcohol helps you fall asleep faster, taking it close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night.
  3. Exercising to promote quality sleep. 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can improve nighttime sleep conditions.  For the best night’s sleep, avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.  
  4. 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. When this occurs close to bedtime, it can lead to painful heartburn that disrupts sleep.
  5. Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light. This is vital if you don’t go out so often. Exposure to sunlight during the day, and darkness at night, helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
  6. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine.  A nightly routine programs your body to know it’s time to hit the sheets. Any relaxing activities such as taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches will do. 
  7. Creating a pleasant sleep environment. Prepare yourself a comfortable bed to sleep on and don’t forget to keep your room dimly lit with minimal ambient noise. A cool temperature of about 60-67 degrees will give you a cozy sleep at night. Also, avoid using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

7 Surprising Benefits of Having a Sleep Hygiene Routine

Once you’ve established a good sleep hygiene, your body will reap the following benefits for your overall health and well-being:

  1. Improves your mood 
  2. Fights off anxiety and depression
  3. Lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke
  4. Lowers the risk of different types of cancer
  5. Reduces the risk of diabetes
  6. Lowers the chances of obesity 
  7. Lowers the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s Disease

With that said, practicing good sleep hygiene syncs your biological clock that regulates all the bodily processes happening over a 24-hour period. 

The processes, known as your circadian rhythm, tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up each day. 

The Healing Powers of Sleep Hygiene

Whenever you are asleep, the body is busy healing your overall health and wellb-being: 

  1. Repairs brain cells – Sleep plays a significant role in regenerating cells involved in brain repair. Thus, having good sleep hygiene helps sharpen memory, increases the ability to solve problems, and make decisions.
  2. Fixing tissues – While you’re sleeping, if there are areas that need to heal, the brain can release hormones that fixes tissue and repair blood vessels.
  3. Heals our hearts – A good night’s sleep will induce profound relaxation and aid the heart to function at optimum levels.
  4. Promotes a healthy skeletal system – Sleep is vital for your bones, ligaments, cartilages, and tendons to remain strong.
  5. Nourishes your skin – Sleep helps produce new collagen. This makes the skin appear more supple, wrinkle-free, and prevents pimple breakouts.
  6. Restoring cells When we are asleep, our body conserves energy and uses it to restore cells.
  7. Boosts energy – Without adequate sleep, you wouldn’t have enough energy to get through the day.

How Lotus Healing and Wellness can Help you Sleep Soundly at Night?

Here at Lotus Healing For You, we can help our clients shift from being a night owl to being an early bird. No more being nocturnal, we will help you become diurnal (unpopular term for an early morning riser).

What they can do to heal in a holistic way and be the best version of yourself.

I have an in-depth working knowledge of how to correct the circadian rhythm (the body’s 24-hour internal clock) and more sleeping tips to share with my clients.

Reach out if you think you may have some concerns about your sleeping patterns that you would like to address with us! 

Remember, our discovery sessions are always free of charge!

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