Do you ever lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering why sleep comes so hard to you? Do you ever feel the hours tick by but just can’t fall asleep? Do you ever get the recommended 6-8 hours of sleep and yet can’t understand why the quality of your sleep is just so poor that you feel exhausted even after waking up?
If so, you need to shed some light on your “sleep hygiene” or simply put, good sleep habits. Sleeping habits are often neglected, despite them being important for one’s overall health and wellbeing. Good sleep habits are important for emotional regulation, productivity, concentration, physical and mental health, immune functions, social habits, etc. Here are some tips to help you improve sleep hygiene.
1. Having a relaxing bedtime routine
Often, it is that overload of thoughts or stress that keeps us tossing and turning in bed.
Having a relaxing bedtime routine helps manage that to a degree. This bedtime routine should be consistent – even if you don’t feel stressed a particular night. Some of the things that you can include in the bedtime routine are: taking a warm bath/shower, listening to soothing music while focusing on your breathing, following a guided meditation.
This also includes avoiding screen time in bed, keeping away from electronics at night, avoiding caffeine and alcohol as their effects last for 3-7 hours after consumption.
2. Create an optimal atmosphere for sleeping
This includes turning off bright lights, it being at a comfortable temperature, having a comfortable mattress and pillow. The more comfortable you are, the better you’ll be able to fall asleep.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise – even if it is stretching or going for a walk – promotes continuous sleep, but avoid exercising right before bed as exercise increases endorphins in your body, which may lead to difficulty in falling asleep.
4. Avoid daytime naps
Fight the urge to sleep during the daytime. Falling asleep in the afternoon might lead you to feel more refreshed in the night, causing sleep deprivation.
5. Maintain a regular sleeping schedule
Humans are creatures of habit, and so it is important to fall asleep and wake up at the same time (+/- 20 minutes) every day – even on the weekends.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Durva Bhatt is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.