Sleep hygiene refers to habits, practices, and environmental factors that tend to influence the quality and length of your sleep. Its basically anything that affects your overall sleep quality. A person with good hygiene tends to get enough sleep and is well-rested.
However, a person who suffers from insomnia or struggles to sleep has poor hygiene. Some of the sleep hygiene factors include nighttime rituals, bedtime, and disruptions to your sleep.
How to Improve Sleep Hygiene
Well, the most solid and important way to improve your sleep hygiene is to maintain a regular sleep routine every night. This means that you should sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This allows your body to get used to a time schedule making it easy for you to sleep when its time to sleep.
If possible, you should avoid naps because they tend to decrease the amount of sleep debt you have hence making it difficult for you to sleep at a proper time at night. This eventually leads to insomnia. When you are going to sleep, you should also cut off bright lights. Make sure the room is dark, comfortable, and cool, with few distractions. This environment will promote a good sleep hygiene.
You also need to avoid spending any extra time in the bed. Do not participate in other activities other than sleeping like watching or reading. These activities compel you to associate your bed with staying awake which isn’t what you want. Make a habit of reserving time spent in bed for sleep.
How Sleep Hygiene Affects Your Sleep Cycle
If you attain a good sleep hygiene then you will be positively impacting your sleep cycle. The sleep cycle occurs in two stages throughout the night. That is; rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep.
Having a good sleep hygiene will promote rapid eye movement sleep, which is the deep sleep sage known for the brain activity in the midbrain and forebrain. This stage of sleep is characterized by the absence of motor function and the presence of dreams. It occurs several times in your sleep and that when you experience deep sleep. Despite this type of sleep, it can potentially compromise the smallest portion of your total sleep cycle.
Good sleep hygiene also has a positive impact on non-rapid eye movement sleep which is a state that you are right after falling asleep. With good sleep hygiene you will be able to fall asleep faster. You will also be able to progress through the two stages of sleep with minimal arousal.
Times have changed! Gone are the days when sleep was ignored by specialists and surrounded by petty myths. The importance of sleep to the well-being and overall health has been given an upper hand. With less than 6-7 hours of sleep every night, you put yourself at a risk of developing diseases. Here is why you should sleep early:
You will keep your heart healthy
Strokes and heart attacks are prone to occur in the morning hours. This may be because sleep tends to interact with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep also worsens your cholesterol and blood pressure. Getting 7-9 hours every night will keep your heart healthier.
You will reduce stress
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body tends to go into a state of stress. When he body is in a state of stress, its functions are put on high alert which causes the production of stress hormones and high blood pressure.
High blood pressure then increases your risk for stroke and heart attack. The generation of stress hormones also make it impossible to sleep. To counteract the effects of stress and fall asleep much faster, then you have to learn and adapt relaxation techniques.
Aids with weight loss
Research has stated that people who get less than seven hours sleep are likely to be obese or overweight. This is because lack of sleep affects the balance of leptin and gherlin hormones which affect your appetite. Lack of sleep disrupts these hormones. So if you want to lose weight and maintain your weight, you need to get enough sleep on a regular basis.
Sleep allows the body to repair itself
Sleep is the best way to relax. However, sleep is also a time when your body is repairing damage caused by ultraviolet rays, stress, and other harmful exposure. While you’re sleeping, your cells produce more protein. These protein molecules allow the cells to rebuild the damage because they form the building blocks the cells need. For better sleep you also fight all addictions especially cocaine, check into a rehab for cocaine addiction if you have to.
Sleep will improve your memory
Even though we don’t understand why we sleep or dream, researchers have found that sleep tends to play an important role in memory consolidation. Even though your body is resting during sleep, your brain is busy making connections between events, processing your day, feelings, memories and sensory input.
This is why deep sleep is very crucial for your brain to make links and memories. This is why you need to make sure you get quality sleep if you want to remember and process things well.
Lack of sleep increases stress hormones which in turn raises the body’s level of inflammation. Increased inflammation puts you at a greater risk of heart-related diseases, as well as diabetes and cancer. Inflammation also causes the body to deteriorate as we get older.
Sleep helps reduce any risk of depression
Sleep also impacts serotonin among many other chemicals in the body. Individuals with serotonin deficiency are at a risk of suffering from depression. By getting the right amount of sleep, that is 7-9 hours, you will prevent depression.
If you want to achieve undisrupted hours of sleep, good sleep hygiene will be a perfect solution. Look for a nighttime ritual that will make sleep come easily. You could do yoga before sleep or listen to sleep meditation tracks.
Ideal sleep conditions tend to vary for different people. You need to make sure you look for what works for you if you want to promote a positive sleep hygiene.