Sleeping . . . it’s seems so simple right? You wake up, get out of bed in the morning, stay active for about 16 hours, then go back to bed and fall asleep; Simple!
For most of us in this day and age it’s not that simple. Our lives are busier, we consume more caffeine, well I certainly do! We have devises that we spend hours in front of, day and night.
It’s no wonder as a society we a struggling to get a good night’s sleep!
Here is some information I have found on sleep hygiene, and that I’m trying myself, to see if I can get a better night’s sleep.
Keep it regular
Try go to bed at around the same time every night and get up at around the same time every morning. Improved sleep will not happen overnight, no pun intended! But if good sleep habits are maintained, sleep will certainly get better. Find what time works for you and stick with it.
Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours sleep every night. Some require more, and some less. Many poor sleepers spend much more than 8 hours in bed and this makes fragmented sleep a habit. Try to limit your time in bed to no more than 8.5 hours and if you take hours to fall asleep, go to bed later. Remember that children need more sleep than adults.
I have discovered I was going to bed too early, and then struggling to sleep. I am now going to bed slightly later, but not too late, around 10:00 – 10:30pm, and I have found I am sleeping much better!
Sort out any problems well before going to bed. If you are stressed about something, have a plan of action for the next day. Try to avoid using your computer or other electronic devises within one hour of bedtime. Exercising is good, but not too late in the evening. Find a relaxation technique that works for you and practice it regularly. Light a scented candle, read a paperback book, these can all help you to wind down before you jump into bed!
Your sleep environment
Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, with comfortable bedding, I sleep with super soft bamboo bedlinen, and the ideal temperature.
Research has found the ideal sleeping temperature is around 17 to 19 degrees Celsius.
Experts say your bedroom should be like a cave; dark, cool and quiet!
I now sleep with a flat sheet and duvet on top. This gives me options during the night. If I’m cold I have the doona, and if I get hot, I throw the duvet off and keep the sheet over me. This has helped me stay cool and not over heated during the night.
Monitor your stimulants Alcohol may help you to get to sleep but it will disrupt your sleep during the night. Caffeine usually found in tea, coffee and cola drinks, and the nicotine in cigarettes are stimulants, that can keep you awake. Try to avoid consuming these substances at least 4-6 hours before bed. Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 24 hours, so if your are struggling with sleep maybe avoid caffeine altogether! It’s a real bummer, but your sleep is more important! I can’t do life without coffee, so I tried to have my last coffee at lunch time, no coffee after 1pm, and this seems to be working for me atm!
Avoid cat naps Sleeping during the day will make it much more difficult to sleep well at night. If you love your cat naps, then limit them to about twenty minutes and make sure that you are awake for at least 4 hours before going back to bed at night. I think if you can get better sleep at night, we should be able to cut the cat nap! It’s my strategy anyway!
Don’t clock watch
If you haven’t drifted off within half an hour, get up and do something calm until you feel sleepy again. keep the lights dimmed and read something boring preferably in print not on a screen! Try to avoid anything overly interesting or stimulating; as this could wake you up even more.
Don’t clock watch, watching the time on a clock just makes you anxious about not being asleep. If possible, take the clock out of your bedroom.
Well I'm improving my sleep hygiene, and so far so good. I hope with these tips your sleep improves too!