Sleep Hygiene: Energy Hacking With Sleep
Your behaviours during the day, and especially before bedtime, can have a major impact on your sleep. Certain habits can either promote healthy sleep or contribute to poor sleep.
Sleep Hygiene is a combination of practices and habits that can help you maximize your sleep quality. To start to enjoy nights full of blissful zzzz’s, assess your sleep habits and see where you can optimize your sleep hygiene practices.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #1: Setting Your Internal Clock
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night. Try to stick as closely as possible to your routine even during self-isolation and on weekends.
If your sleep has been less than optimal lately, make sure your bed time and wake times are consistent as a first step to better sleep.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #2: Creating The Perfect Sleep Environment
To boost your nightly slumber, think about how to improve your ideal sleep environment. To achieve such an environment, you may need to add or adjust the following:
- Add in “white noise” or use ear plugs
- Use heavy curtains, blackout shades, or an eye mask to block light. Light can be a powerful cue that tells the brain that it’s time to wake up
- Keep the temperature comfortably cool between 15 and 22°C
- Make sure your bedroom is equipped with a comfortable mattress and pillows
Sleep Hygiene Tip #3: Limit Screen Time
Scrolling Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest while in bed? Or maybe catching up your Netflix shows? Your nighttime scrolling or TV watching could be negatively effecting your sleep. The white light that’s emitted from your phone, tablet or TV is very stimulating to the brain and actually reduces your sleepy hormone melatonin. Not really the communication we want for the brain before bed.
To support melatonin levels, try setting a screen time curfew 1 hour before bed and maybe reading a good old fashioned book instead of watching TV.
Sleep Hygiene Tip #4: Stay Active
Regular exercise and movement are essential to support a restful nights sleep. However, try and avoid vigorous exercise 3 hours before bed time. Vigorous exercise can be very stimulating and again, reduce our sleepy hormone melatonin.