Sleep is an essential part of our lives. If we don’t sleep well, or we don’t get enough sleep, we can feel cranky, moody, or even start experiencing brain fog. There’s a lot of research about the negative effects of lack of sleep.
For some people, falling asleep and staying asleep, is even harder – these include people with ADHD, for example.
But what to do if you want to improve your sleep amount or sleep quality? This is where sleep hygiene comes into play.
- Try to avoid staying in bed if you’re not going to be sleeping. As much as possible keep the bed associated with sleeping. This means don’t eat in bed, and don’t just lie in bed watching things.
- If you have a routine of sleeping at 10pm during the weekdays and waking up at 6am, don’t change this routine because it’s a weekend. Your body doesn’t look at days the way we were brought up to – which means that your body doesn’t know when it’s a weekday or when it’s the weekend. Messing up the routine for the weekend will make the start of your work week a much harder one, at least sleep-wise.
- Don’t eat food or drink alcohol in the two hours before you sleep. Your body needs to digest, and in the case of alcohol, your body has a lot more work to do there, so making it do this while you sleep will give you a less restful night, and can even make hangovers worse the next morning.
- Use a blue-light filter on your screens, and make sure it’s on during the evening. This will allow your brain to start adapting to night time (and to help your brain be aware that it’s soon time to sleep).
- Make sure you are hydrated before you sleep.
- Try not to oversleep, and don’t take longer naps during the day, powernaps (15mns) are more than enough if you need to recharge.
- Some people may sleep better with soft soothing music in the background, while others need to be in total silence.