Understanding Sleep Hygiene and Its Importance

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Sleep may seem to be a simple and basic everyday routine. Yet a lack of it at any given instance can have devastating consequences for a person’s mental and physical well-being. But if one is looking to improve their sleeping habits, good sleep hygiene can transform their life. 

The term “sleep hygiene” involves quite a few healthy sleep habits. These habits can help improve one to not only fall asleep but also to experience high-quality sleep. 

While the required amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, it depends on the factors such as an individual’s age, lifestyle and even their health condition. By strictly following sleep hygiene, one can significantly improve the quality of their sleep, which in turn can positively impact their performance in everyday life. 

 

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, working on a few aspects of sleep hygiene can help: 

  • Be disciplined: Given the COVID-19 crisis, it’s easy to disrupt one’s circadian rhythm. Instead, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time each morning, including the weekends. The consistency will ensure your body is well-rested daily.
     
  • Exercise: It’s only in recent history that humans have used scientific innovations to design a life where lesser effort is required for living. But the body still needs to expend energy to remain and perform at its best. Therefore, it’s necessary to get some exercise during the day, as this can help one fall asleep a lot more easily at night.
  • Ideal bedroom environment: It’s crucial to ensure that your bedroom is quiet and not brightly lit up. The room should also be well ventilated to maintain a cool temperature so that the body feels comfortable before you doze off into calming sleep.
     
  • Limit screen time: Technology has made its way into quite a few aspects of human life, and so have screens. However, looking at these screens before sleeping is not advisable as the blue light emitted from them can reduce the melatonin (a hormone crucial for sleep) levels in the body. So avoid using electronic devices such as television, computers, and smartphones in the bedroom, especially before sleeping,
  • Eat just right: It’s good to avoid large meals, coffee, and alcohol before going to bed. Such items can come in the way of good sleep by disrupting the body’s sleep mechanisms. The saying “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper” is excellent advice if you’re trying to sleep better.

It’s also important to know that the quality of sleep one experiences also depends on their behaviour during the day until bedtime. While maintaining good sleep hygiene helps you experience quality sleep, like mastering any habit, consistency, and practice are essential. 

Sleep hygiene plays a critical role and impacts the quality of sleep one experiences day after day. If one finds it hard to sleep or wants to improve their sleeping habits, trying the steps above can help. However, if the difficulty in sleeping persists, please consult a medical professional.

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