The average healthy adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. That being said, millions of people around the world experience poor sleep. Sleep issues can be attributed to many reasons, including stress and anxiety.
Poor sleep can also occur because many people haven’t cultivated good sleep habits — often referred to as sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene includes practices that can help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
Sleep is important. It’s not something that you can do without. No matter what is going on in your life, you need to get quality daily rest so you can maintain a healthy mind and body. Sleep is when your body cleanses and repairs itself. It’s also necessary for processing what you encountered during the day.
If you suffer from poor sleep, the good news is that there’s a lot you can do to change that. Many of these tips are very simple and don’t take a lot of time, money, or energy to implement. The key to making them work is doing them!
You spend a third of your life sleeping! That’s a lot of time, and yet many of us don’t invest in making this the best experience we can. Instead, we look at sleep at just “something to do” between one day and the next.
We need to shift our mindset to focus more on the quality of our sleep because it influences everything else we do during the other two-thirds of our life!
A restful night’s sleep has many benefits …
Sleep is not just something to do. It’s a necessary part of our daily life and will naturally occur in absence of anything that disturbs or disrupts it.
Sleep gives your body time to cleanse and repair itself. There are certain processes that only take place in the body while you’re sleeping. One of those processes involves cleansing the toxins that build up in the brain during the day. It’s also a time for the body to repair itself. When you rest, your body “goes to work” in amazing ways that keep you healthy in mind and body.
A good night’s sleep makes you more alert the next day. Not only will your concentration be heightened, you’ll make fewer mistakes in your work. Restful sleep reduces your frustration and irritation levels, and that’s especially important when we need to deal with our family, friends, and co-workers!
You’ll have a better view of life. Everything looks better when you’re well-rested — regardless of what’s going on in your life. If you’ve ever suffered from a long night of tossing and turning the next day, everything looks and feels different. Life feels harder. Problems seem bigger. And your body feels heavy and tired — because it is!
So you can see that there are many healthful benefits to mind and body by getting a good night’s sleep, which underscores why you should pay attention to this important part of your life.
Things to keep in mind …
Before jumping into helpful actions you can take right now to improve your quality of sleep, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Routines. Healthy habits are important for creating a better sleep result. Anything that you can do regularly will automatically start priming your body and brain for sleep. The tips below provide helpful ideas about things you can do (and not do) as you create a routine that works for you.
Be patient with yourself. It takes time to create new habits. Consider tracking your daily tasks on a calendar until they become routine. You may need to add, delete, or change your routine until you can find one that works for you. This may take some time and experimentation. Give yourself 21 – 30 days for your new habits to become routine.
Now, let’s look at what you can do to improve the quality of your sleep and, thus, the quality of your life!
Sleep Tips for a Better Night’s Rest
Never underestimate the importance of sleep. Creating a healthy sleep routine should be a priority above all else. Review these helpful tips which will give you a new view to cultivating better quality sleep.
Tip #1: Create a daily end-of-day routine that primes you for sleep. It’s best to do this routine outside of your bedroom, so you only use your bedroom for sleep. Your routine might include writing in a gratitude journal, reading a few paragraphs in a book, or listening to relaxing music. Since you’ll want to do this every night, make sure you enjoy the activities, they don’t excite the body or mind, and they don’t take a lot of time.
Tip #2: Use your bedroom only for sleep and not as a place to work, read, listen to music, or watch TV.
Tip #3: Remove gadgets from your room (including your TV) so you won’t be tempted to access them or be disturbed by them.
Tip #4: Turn off any type of gadgets or screens several hours prior to bedtime. That means you need to turn off your TV, computer, and phone.
Tip #5: If you use an alarm clock, reset it with soothing wakeup tones so that you’re not jarred out of sleep. Awakening suddenly to unpleasant sounds creates a stress response in the brain and body that’s best to be avoided.
Tip #6: Exercise regularly or do tasks that involve moving your body during the day, as this will help you sleep better at night. That being said, avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime.
Tip #7: Create a mantra to say as you drift off to sleep. A mantra is a phrase that you repeat over and over. You can craft one of your own or repeat a prayer, scripture or favorite quote.
Tip #8: Fix your bed before you sleep. A good habit is to fix your bed first thing in the morning. Why? It keeps your room looking tidy, and it helps you sleep better according to a study by the National Sleep Foundation.
Tip #9: Clean your bedroom area. Clutter can create agitation and possibly even depression. Make sure you keep your bedroom clean. Put things away. Regularly dust and vacuum, too.
Tip #10: Don’t sleep on a cluttered bed. Make your pets sleep in their own beds. Remove any extra stuff from your bed surface, including extra pillows, stuffed animals, blankets,and books. Keep your bed simple, inviting, and clear of clutter.
Tip #11: Clear the air. Air out your bedroom daily and consider investing in an air purifier to make sure you’re breathing in fresh air. Avoid using sanitizers and candles as these can disrupt sleep. Fresh air is best.
Tip #12: Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol several hours before bedtime. In fact, avoid drinking a lot of liquids to avoid having to wake up to use the restroom.
Tip #13: Adjust the temperature to keep things on the cooler side. You’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer in a cooler room. If it’s hot in the summer and you don’t have air conditioning, you might invest in a small fan to circulate air around the room.
Tip #14: Set a bedtime and wake up time and stick to it — even on the weekends. You thrive on routines, and creating a sleep schedule will make your day and evening much better.
Tip #15: Wash your bedding. Change your sheets and pillowcases weekly to ensure you’re sleeping in a clean bed.
Tip #16: Sleep in a dark room. Any type of light can disrupt sleep. If you can’t darken the room sufficiently, consider investing in a sleep mask.
Tip #17: Avoid eating meals or snacks within a few hours of bedtime. Digestion consumes a lot of energy and can sometimes disrupt sleep.
Tip #18: If your alarm clock emits light, cover it up, so it doesn’t disturb your sleep. Also, if you awake during the night, you won’t be able to see what time it is so that will reduce anxiety.
Tip #19: You spend 1/3 or your life in bed. Make it comfortable for sleeping by investing in a quality mattress.
Tip #20: Reduce noise in your sleep area. Or, if you need distraction, invest in a white noise generator.
Tip #21: To enjoy better sleep, invest in quality bed linens, including a good supportive pillow.
Tip #22: Avoid taking naps within 6 hours of bedtime and keep them less than 90 minutes long so they don’t upset your regular sleep cycles.
Your sleep hygiene or habits need an appropriate level of attention because they’re vitally important to creating and maintaining your continued physical and mental health.
Try implementing some of these sleep tips and you’ll find the quality of your sleep and wake time will improve!
To restful sleep!