Good sleep hygiene means setting yourself up for a restful, healthy night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep is the best way to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to face the new day.
So are you sleeping clean – and what does that even mean?
Most people know that to maintain good health, there are general standards of hygiene that everyone should follow – like washing your hands or brushing your teeth.
But did you know that there's also such a thing as sleep hygiene which helps you to maintain your sleep health?
Research has drawn a link between poor sleep and a reduction of immune function. This means that a lack of sleep can mean you're more vulnerable to frequent infections in the short-term and more chronic illness in the long-term.1
Good sleep hygiene involves establishing a sleep routine each night to ensure you're receiving quality sleep so you can feel alert and focused the following day.
So how do you ensure that your sleep hygiene is on track to achieve the sleep you need?
Follow these sleep hygiene best practices to greatly increase the quality of your sleep while boosting your energy…
First things first – work out how much sleep you need per night. While your sleep needs can fluctuate depending on your daily activities, experts recommend that most adults should clock up 7 to 9 hours sleep each night for optimal sleep health. Older people (over 65) may get by on a bit less.2
Do the math. Not receiving at least seven hours? Perhaps it's time to start setting a reminder at least an hour before you're supposed to start winding down for the day.
Try to keep to a regular bedtime and avoid daytime napping — you might find it harder to fall asleep at night if you're sneaking in a few ZZZs during the day.
Have you ever tried to fall asleep straight after eating a big bowl of rice or drinking a caffeinated beverage?
You might think that what you eat and drink just affects your physical health, but it can also affect the quality of your sleep.
To make sure you set yourself up for a restful night, try to avoid eating a heavy meal at least 3 hours before you call it a night. Spicy and acidic foods are also ones to avoid — no-one wants to endure heartburn at bedtime! 3
While many people wind down with a nightcap, it's wise to give alcohol a miss in the evening. An alcoholic drink might help you relax and fall asleep in the short-term, but it's actually considered to be a poor sleep aid and can reduce your sleep quality.4
It might sound simple and make logical sense, but step number 3 is often easier said than done: Try to avoid stressful situations before bedtime.
If you're racing around the house late at night to get lunch and clothes prepared for the next day, doing the laundry, ironing, or stacking the dishwasher, chances are you'll find it hard to switch off straight away when you climb into bed.
Create a buffer between your preferred bedtime and tasks, technology and other time-zappers — even if it's just half an hour to read a book, take a bath, or reduce the ambient light, and just relax.
Decreasing the ambient light helps promote the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.
Quality sleep is vital for your overall health and well-being and it all begins with proper sleep hygiene.
By following these simple steps, you'll find yourself sleeping soundly in no time.
If you're searching for more ways to help you sleep, try downloading this free eBook full of proven tips and tricks.
You can download your free copy of the '8 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight' eBook here.
ResMed is a global leader in sleep technology that has its origins right here in Australia. Our goal is to provide people with the means to awaken their best and enjoy healthier lives by promoting good sleep habits and creating awareness for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
http://www.sleepforhealth.net.au/currentresearch.php accessed 28 June 2019.
http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/food-sabotage-sleep accessed 28 June 2019.
https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/food-and-sleep/page/0/1 accessed 28 June 2019.
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