Sleep hygiene is a word meant to encompass various behavioral practices that are conducive to good and restful sleep.

It is also the ways in which we might better suit our environment to our sleep needs. In this Top Ten Ways to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene article I will provide you with some simple tips for practicing good sleep hygiene.

10. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

This is perhaps the most important tip on this list. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule entails going to sleep and waking up at the same time (or within twenty minutes of the same time) every day. What this does is allow your body to adjust to a routine which provides adequate time for sleep.

9. Avoid Watching T.V. or Reading in Bed

Limiting stimulation in the bedroom is essential to good sleep hygiene because when we engage in these activities in our bedroom we make the bedroom a place for something other than sleep. It is important that when you walk into your bedroom you immediately associate it with sleep and restfulness.

8. Avoid Electronic Screens for at least Half an Hour Before Sleep

Many doctors now recommend avoiding electronic screens for at least half an hour before going to sleep due to the effect that non-natural light can have on our eyes and brains. Avoiding these devices before bed can also help us avoid potentially upsetting information from say the news or work email.

7. Don’t Watch the Clock

don't watch the clock

The reason for this one is simple: watching the clock creates anxiety that makes it harder to sleep.

6. Maintain an Orderly, Comfortable Room

Maintaining an orderly and comfortable room can create a sense of peace that is conducive to a good night’s sleep. It is difficult to rest or relax when things are chaotic, and a disorderly room can certainly create a sense of chaos.

5. Make Sure Your Room is Free of Dust and Other Irritants

steam clean

Irritants such as dust or pet hair and dander can interfere with our sleep cycle by causing congestion, sneezing, and other types of discomfort. If you have a pet, it may be worth taking the time to steam clean your carpets and bedding. Lint rollers can also be helpful for cleaning pet hair, dust and other potentially irritating particulates.

4. Don’t Eat Too Soon Before Bed

Eating too soon before bed can cause heartburn or indigestion, which of course can keep you up at night. If you must eat less than an hour or so before bed, then it is best that you keep the meal or snack light; avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, salt, or spices.

3. Hydrate

Proper hydration is essential to the function of our internal organs, so it is no surprise that proper hydration can also help us maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

2. Have a Pre-Bed Routine

Having a nice, calming pre-bedtime routine can put your body and mind in the right condition for a restful night’s sleep. Making time to quietly meditate, take a nice bath, or listen to soothing music can not only help you unwind, but when it becomes a routine these activities act as a signal to the mind and body that the time for rest has come. These sorts of activities, when made routine, can help you acclimate to a regular sleep schedule.

1. Exercise

Exercise gives your body a chance to expend excess energy, thereby making you nice and tired when the time for sleep comes. While it can be difficult to find the time to exercise it is essential, especially for people who work in professional fields that require little or no physical labor.

These tips and tricks are just some of the natural ways you can work toward a regular, heathy sleep schedule. Sleep needs vary according to a number of factors and it is crucial that you visit a medical professional if problems with sleep persist. Sleep is essential to our mental and physical wellbeing, so it is important that we do not treat it as an afterthought.

So give these tips on ways to improve your sleep hygiene a try!

by Info Guru Lauren DeJesus-Glasgow