Sleep Hygiene - How’s yours?

 

We could all probably do with more of it! It is recommended that we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sufficient sleep is associated with both positive physical and mental health outcomes. Even if you are getting enough sleep, is it good quality and do you feel refreshed after waking? Below are some tips to help you develop healthy sleep hygiene habits and get a good night’s sleep. 

Diet

- Eliminate stimulants or avoid them later in the day. Stimulants include caffeine (found in coffee, black/green tea, chocolate), refined sugar (found in soft drinks, lollies, chocolate) and nicotine (cigarettes). 
- Limit your alcohol intake. It may feel like alcohol can help you fall asleep however, it can interrupt your sleep cycles and decrease the quality of your sleep.
- Avoid heavy meals before going to bed, try to eat dinner at least two hours before laying down. But, don’t go to bed hungry.
- Try caffeine free tea before bed that includes calming and relaxing herbs such as chamomile.

Light and Dark

- Avoid exposure to blue light from your phone/computer/tv screens late at night.
- Open your curtains and turn on lights in the morning to increase wakefulness.

Routine

- Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, 7 days a week.
- Stretching, breathing, reading or meditation before bed may help you relax.
- Try not to nap during the day, save the sleep for night-time. Unless you are new Mumma, then you can enjoy naps while the baby naps!
- If you can’t fall asleep or don’t feel relaxed after 15-20 minutes in bed, get up, try doing something calming (stretching, breathing, reading or meditation) and go back to bed when you do feel sleepy.
- A short walk after dinner and a warm shower or bath with essential oils and candles may help you relax before getting ready for bed.

Physical Activity

- Aim for daily exercise, this includes walking or yoga.
- Avoid high intensity exercise for 3 hours before bedtime.

Mood

- Go to bed when you feel tired.
- Allocate a time earlier in the day to review worrying or stressful situations to avoid rumination at bedtime.

The Bed

- Is your mattress / pillow comfortable?
- Are you too hot / cold?

The Bedroom

- Keep the bedroom free from electronics (phone, laptop, tv, WIFI, clock).
- Keep the bedroom quiet, dark (at night), clean and tidy.
- Use the bedroom exclusively for sleep and intimacy.

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