Your sleep hygiene includes your sleep environment (i.e. your bedroom) and your habits around sleep. By improving your sleep hygiene, you can improve your sleep quality and quantity. Here are a few of the things that can help.
Sort out your bedroom.
Ensure that your bedroom is a place where you sleep and have sex, nothing more. So:
- If you have a TV in your bedroom, take it out.
- Replace any bright lights with bulbs that are softer and more diffuse.
- Leave your phone facing down away from the bed, ideally out of reach and on sleep mode
- If you have a clock, put it away, out of sight.
- Make sure your room is dark. You might want to invest in decent curtains or blackout blinds, particularly if you are a shift worker, though a sleep mask will be a good deal cheaper.
- The bedroom should be cool (ideally around 15-22 degrees Celsius).
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine close to bedtime
Try to avoid coffee in the afternoon, and when it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. While alcohol is well-known to help you fall asleep faster, too much close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as the body begins to process the alcohol.
Steer clear of food in the lead up to bedtime
Try to have your last meal at least 3 hours before bed. Eating right before bed will usually result in a poor quality sleep, and can also lead to weight gain.
Ensure adequate exposure to natural light.
Exposure sure to sunlight during the day (especially first thing in the morning) is really important as it will help reinforce your natural circadian rhythms.
Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine.
A regular nightly routine helps the body recognise that it is bedtime. This could include taking warm shower or bath, reading a book, or meditation.