Sleep hygiene and 15 best practices for a better nights rest.

Let’s talk about sleep. If you have ever spent any time with me you will know I always talking about sleep. Either the importance of it or how we never seem to get enough of it. The reason I place so much importance on sleep is that I know how vital it is to every function in the human body.
You literally can not be yourself without sleep. Try not to sleep for three days and see what you are like. I was talking to a doctor and he described it perfectly, “We are all only three bad night sleeps away from insanity.”

I talk with many people all over the world every day and I have noticed a trend. Everyone is struggling with sleep. Either falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough quality sleep. With everything that is happening in the world today it is no surprise. Our ability to sleep is so closely linked to our psyche. If you have problems on your mind it can be almost impossible to let go at the end of the day.

Sleep Hygiene

Strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Keeping a stable sleep schedule, making your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions, following a relaxing pre-bed routine, and building healthy habits during the day can all contribute to ideal sleep hygiene.

Every sleeper can tailor their sleep hygiene practices to suit their needs. In the process, you can harness positive habits to make it easier to sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up well-rested.

What Are Signs of Poor Sleep Hygiene?

Having a hard time falling asleep, experiencing frequent sleep disturbances, and suffering daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. An overall lack of consistency in sleep quantity or quality can also be a symptom of poor sleep hygiene.

How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

Good sleep hygiene is all about putting yourself in the best position to sleep well each and every night.

Optimizing your sleep schedule, pre-bed routine, and daily routines is part of harnessing habits to make quality sleep feel more automatic. At the same time, creating a pleasant bedroom environment can be an invitation to relax and doze off.

A handful of tips can help in each of these areas, they aren’t rigid requirements. You can adapt them to fit your circumstances and create your own sleep hygiene checklist to help get the best sleep possible.

15 Best Practices

  1. Keep a regular schedule. Our bodies like regularity. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times. With a regular schedule, your body will know when to release calming hormones before bed and stimulating hormones to wake up.
  2. Keep alcohol and caffeine moderate. Both will interfere with sleep. Try to avoid caffeine within 8-9 hours of your bedtime.
  3. Eat and drink appropriately. A regular to smallish-sized meal about 2-3 hours before bed, one that is balanced in nutrients, can help facilitate sleep. Try not to drink too much liquid in the hours before bed, which will help you avoid waking up for bathroom breaks.
  4. Do a brain dump. Take a few minutes to write out a list of whatever is bugging you. Whatever is in your brain, get it out and on to paper.
  5. Turn off electronics. Digital devices stimulate our brain. We recommend unplugging from all screens at least 30 minutes (ideally 1 hour) before bed. This includes television, computers, and smartphones. The screens release a blue light that prevents our brain from preparing for sleep.
  6. Stretch / read / de-stress before bed. Consider trying some yoga poses, reading, or meditation.
  7. Go to bed before midnight. This is better aligned with natural light cycles.
  8. Set an alarm to go to bed. Work backwards and add buffer time: If you need to wake up at 6 AM and want to be in bed for 7 hours, start moving towards bed around 10:30 PM with lights out by 11.
  9. Exercise regularly. Physical movement (especially outdoors) can promote restful sleep at night.
  10. Take a bath or shower. A warm bath with epsom salts or even a cool shower (depending on personal preference) can promote restful sleep.
  11. Keep the room dark. This means curtains, shades, and/or a sleep mask.
  12. Have a stress-free / clutter-free bedroom. Get rid of stacks of mail, boxes, clothes strewn about, etc.
  13. Keep it cool. Anywhere from 60-68 F (15-20 C) appears to work best at night.
  14. Use white noise. For instance, turn on a fan, humidifier, or HEPA filter.
  15. Get outside in the sunlight and fresh air during the day. Or, if you work shift, try to get lots of bright light and movement when you should normally be awake.

Meditation & Breathwork

You know I am a big fan of meditation and breathwork. Remember our ability to fall asleep is closely tied to our psyche. The breath and the mind are linked. We need to take care of our minds. Mental hygiene is also really important, especially these days with so much chaos in the world. This is why I created a few meditation and breathwork videos to help relax and soothe the mind πŸ™‚

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