When we say sleep hygiene, we’re not talking about taking a shower, clipping your fingernails, or brushing your hair right before bed.
Sleep hygiene refers to healthy sleep habits that everyone should adopt for a better night’s rest. Getting into the right bedtime habits is actually one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for better, more consistent sleeping patterns.
Why Sleep Hygiene is Important
Getting consistent sleep has a lot to do with your state of mental and physical health. You’ve probably already noticed this at some point in your life, but lack of sleep can make you feel groggy, lethargic, and unmotivated.
But did you know that it also increases your chance of getting sick? Plus, it makes the recovery period more of a challenge when you actually do get sick.
This is because your body uses sleep as the time to recharge and repair. Good sleep patterns are actually linked to all aspects of health, including healthy weight, improved concentration and productivity, better athletic performance, lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and more.
Some Signs that Point to Poor Sleep Hygiene
The two most common signs that your sleep hygiene could use some improvement are difficulty falling asleep and trouble staying asleep. If you tend to lay in bed for hours before drifting off or you wake up multiple times throughout the night, chances are, you have poor sleep hygiene practices.
Another sign is that you regularly suffer from sleepiness throughout the day. Most people attribute this to not getting their necessary dose of caffeine or having a schedule that’s too hectic, but in many cases, it really just has to do with sleeping patterns.
Steps for Practicing Better Sleep Hygiene
There are a few things you can do to help with your overall quality of sleep, including incorporating CBD oil into your nightly routine. Aside from that, here are 5 ways to practice better sleep hygiene, which can in turn improve overall healthy:
- Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
- Try following a nightly routine.
- Practice healthier habits throughout the day.
- Optimize your bedroom for sleep.
- Reduce your use of electronics near bedtime.
Set a Sleep Schedule & Stick to It
Scheduling your normal “go to bed” and “wake up” times is the first step to proper sleep hygiene. This helps to get your brain and body accustomed to getting the full amount of sleep that you need every single night.
If you regularly call it a night at 11 and wake up at 7, you’ll start to notice that you become sleepy around 10:30 or so every single night. You’ll also notice that your body has an easier time waking up at 7 every day, and you might even start to wake up naturally at 6:55 before your alarm goes off.
Adopt a Nightly Routine
This goes along with setting a schedule, but it takes it a step further. Getting into a good routine might mean dimming the lights 30 minutes before bed, switching your devices to yellow-light mode, and unplugging from electronics altogether 1 hour before bed.
Whatever your routine includes, try to be consistent with it. However, it’s OK to test out different relaxation methods before settling into an official routine to see what works best for you.
Another helpful hint for your nightly routine is to allow about 30 minutes to wind down for the night. You can’t expect to go from a go-go-go mentality to a relaxing sleep, so utilize whatever puts you in a state of calm (like soft music, light stretching, or reading).
Practice Healthier Habits Overall
That’s right. You need to focus on your daily activities to make the most of your nightly sleep. Many studies have proven that incorporating more positive routines and activities throughout the day can limit sleep disruptions and support a more balanced circadian rhythm throughout the night.
Here are a few ways to practice daily healthier habits:
- Get physically active with regular exercise
- Don’t smoke (or quit smoking) and reduce alcohol consumption
- Cut back on caffeine, especially after lunchtime
- Try to get some fresh air and sunshine every day, at least for a little bit
Optimize Your Bedroom for Sleep
Ambiance and environment have a lot to do with your quality of sleep. Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility, and if it’s not a place that makes you feel calm and relaxed, this could be significantly downgrading your quality of sleep.
The first step in optimizing your bedroom for sleep is to invest in a comfy mattress, pillows, and sheets. That could mean a firmer mattress, or it could mean one that you sink into. Just be sure to choose one that suits your personal comfort preferences.
You’ll also want to consider things like bedroom temperature, background noise, and light. For example, if your home is generally noisy, it might be worth it to invest in a sound machine or fan to drown out surrounding sounds.
Reduce the Use of Electronics Near Bedtime
It’s no big surprise that electronics stimulate your brain to be more active and make it difficult to unwind. The Sleep Foundation says that “using TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin…”
A disrupted circadian rhythm and lack of melatonin make it very difficult to fall asleep. This mainly has to do with an artificial blue light that is emitted from electronics. So if you must check emails before bed or watch a show on your tablet, switch the device’s light setting to give off yellow light instead of the harmful blue.
Below are some frequently asked questions about sleep hygiene and how to action it.
Is everyone’s sleep hygiene routine the same?
Just as everyone’s day-to-day routines are different, the same goes for routines linked to sleep hygiene. Overall, most of us share the same habits that work for better sleep, like no electronics in bed and no nighttime caffeine. But your routine might not look exactly the same as your partner’s.
How can I incorporate CBD into my sleep hygiene practices?
Well, considering the tips we already covered, the main thing to remember is that it’s all about consistency. That means taking your CBD at the same time and in the same dose every night.