The Importance of Sleep and How to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is an integral biological function, helping your body and mind recharge and repair. Not only that, but sleep also promotes overall health by helping to ward off disease.

Individual sleep needs differ, but most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of shut-eye each night. Not getting enough shut-eye can lead to various health issues like obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

1. Set a Regular Bedtime

One of the most effective ways to improve your sleep quality is by setting a consistent bedtime. This will guarantee that your body gets enough rest each night, helping you wake up feeling rejuvenated and energetic in the morning.

You can gradually reduce your bedtime over several days, adding 15 or 30 minutes at a time.

Once your routine becomes second nature, it will help you fall asleep more quickly.

Kids who don’t adhere to a regular bedtime schedule tend to be irritable, hyperactive and emotionally distant than those who do. This is because they get less sleep than their peers and their bodies are out of sync with their circadian rhythms.

2. Reduce Screen Time

Limiting screen time is essential for sleep and mental wellbeing, as well as producing physical side effects like eye strain or headaches.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to improve your sleep hygiene and limit screen time.

Start by tracking how much screen time your family is getting each week and setting boundaries accordingly. Create phone-free zones in your home, then enforce a house rule that limits screen time to two hours daily.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercising regularly is a well-known sleep aid, helping you feel more energized, think clearly and get better rest. Furthermore, it improves mental health and reduces stress.

Exercise also raises your body’s temperature, which may help signal to your brain that it’s time for bed.

To successfully incorporate exercise into your sleep hygiene, be consistent and create a schedule. Begin with small amounts, then gradually increase the amount of time spent exercising each night.

Exercise can promote slow-wave sleep, the most restorative stage of sleep. These deep periods of relaxation strengthen your immune system, cardiovascular health and muscle repair/regeneration.

4. Keep Your Room Cool

Sleeping in a room that’s too warm can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep. Lowering the thermostat a few degrees will help lower core temperature, encouraging melatonin production which makes it easier to fall asleep more quickly.

Electronics that run all night can contribute to heat buildup in your bedroom, so make sure they’re turned off before going to sleep. Fans are another effective way to circulate air and reduce temperatures in a room.

Consider investing in a mattress pad that cools down your bed, especially if it has older mattresses that tend to sweat excessively. Modern models pump cooled water through tiny tubes to reduce temperature and keep you comfortable while sleeping.

5. Turn Off the Light

Sleep is essential for your wellbeing. Not only does it help your body recover from a long day, but also boosts your immunity. It plays an integral role in this process!

Dr. Freedy, a renowned sleep expert at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, emphasizes that it’s not just how much time you get to sleep; it’s also about its quality. Your sleeping patterns have an immense effect on your overall wellbeing; Dr. Freedy emphasizes this point.

Improve your sleep hygiene with some easy changes. For instance, switch off all lights in your bedroom before bed and turn off electronics at least an hour before going to sleep. Blue light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep by tricking the brain into thinking it’s still daylight, which negatively affects natural melatonin levels.

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