Sleep hygiene isn’t exactly brushing your teeth or changing your sheets, although those are healthy hygiene practices, the National Sleep Foundation describes it as the habits needed for good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness. So if you spend more time tossing and turning at night, and feeling sleepy during the day, it’s time for some better bedtime habits. Here a few changes you can make to your sleep routine to help you fall asleep on time and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day:
- Start a regular sleep schedule
You should be going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends). According to the National Sleep Foundation, one of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to have the right amount of sleep – not too little or too much, recommending a sleep range of 7 to 9 hours for adults. If you still feel like napping, keep it short between 20 to 30 minutes.
- Build a night time routine
This will help your body recognize that it’s time for bed. Try a relaxing skincare regimen (jade roll away your worries), and swap screen time for reading or journaling, and late night exercise for something more soothing, like stretching and meditating. See it as your self-care ritual – a well-deserved way to unwind after a long, busy day, but try not to treat yourself to any heavy meals or caffeine before bed.
- Create a calming sleep environment
The right atmosphere will have you drifting off to dreamland with ease. Start by investing in a good mattress and pillows – these, and a proper sleeping position, will allow you to sleep comfortably throughout the night and wake up without feeling stiff or sore. Set the temperature according to your needs and turn off all the lights (screens included) – if you’re sensitive to the morning light, consider a sleep mask or blackout curtains. You can also add to the ambience by playing white noise and using essential oils in a humidifier – lavender is known to be a natural sleep aid.