Is it hard for you to relax and sleep? Have you heard of sleep hygiene?

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Good sleep is essential at any age, both for physical and mental health, to improve productivity and for the quality of life in general.

Sleep hygiene refers to the combination of a bedtime routine and room environment to promote uninterrupted, consistent, and restful sleep.

Studies have shown that creating and maintaining good habits is essential for a healthy life. Good habits make your behavior almost automatic and reinforce your commitment to health and wellness.

Symptoms that you should improve your sleep hygiene

The most frequent signs that you could benefit from better sleep hygiene are:

  • Difficulty falling asleep;
  • Interrupted sleep at night;
  • Drowsiness in the day; Y
  • Lack of consistency in quantity and quality of sleep.

How to create good sleep hygiene?

Creating good sleep hygiene is about establishing routines that help you sleep longer and better every night.

Like everything in health and wellness, there is no one recipe that works for everyone, since we have different needs and lifestyles. So here are some tips for you to adapt to your own moment of life.

Define your sleep schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule helps your body and brain "automate" the rhythm of activity and relaxation, which is essential for restful sleep. Some tips to achieve it:

Wake up at the same time every day – no matter if it's weekdays or weekends;

Prioritize sleep – sleep is super important for your body and brain to recover and perform better the next day. So include bedtime in your calendar, ideally 7-9 hours before you wake up.

Make small adjustments and changes – adjust your sleep and wake times one hour per day until your body and brain get used to the new schedules and it becomes a habit.

Don't get used to naps/naps – if you can't sleep the number of hours you need at night, it's okay to take a nap to recover, but keep it short and early in the afternoon so it doesn't affect your restful sleep. the night. Don't let naps become a habit.

Follow a pre-bedtime routine for sleep

How you get ready for bed can define how quickly, easily and deeply you fall asleep. Try that:

Keep a consistent routine – always do the same thing, so your mind already “knows” it's time to sleep.

Take your time and experiment with different relaxation techniques – instead of obsessing over the need to sleep, focus on relaxing with “activities” that naturally make you sleepy like listening to music, stretching, breathing techniques, meditation, etc.

Reduce the intensity of light – strong and/or bright (blue) light reduces the production of melatonin (hormone that helps sleep), so turn off the lights or reduce the intensity and color of the lights.

Disconnect from electronics – electronics reflect bright light and stimulate the brain, affecting your ability to fall asleep and the restorative quality of your sleep. Stop watching your cell phone, tablet, computer or TV 30 to 60 minutes before bed.

Don't stay in bed if you're not ready to sleep – the idea is that your mind associates being in bed with actually sleeping. If you go to bed and you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something that relaxes you so you can fall asleep.

Cultivate healthy habits throughout the day

A healthy lifestyle during the day helps maintain your circadian rhythm, which is like your internal clock. That promotes a restful and uninterrupted sleep at night.

Expose yourself to sunlight - sunlight helps adjust your internal clock.

Exercise – exercising during the day helps you get a good night's sleep, plus other general health benefits

Cut back on alcohol – while alcohol can relax you and help you fall asleep, it wears off and can then disrupt sleep. So better, moderate consumption, especially at night.

Don't smoke – nicotine is a stimulant and affects sleep, as well as being harmful to your overall health.

Cut down on caffeine, especially in the afternoon – like any stimulant, caffeine affects sleep. Reduce the amount in general and avoid drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon or evening.

Don't eat a late meal – the body cannot relax and repair itself and digest food at the same time. So stop eating food about two to three hours before bedtime.

Keep the environment in your room conducive to sleep

For you to sleep well it is important that the environment is cozy and relaxing.

Use your bed only for sleeping – your mind must make the connection “bed = relaxation/restful sleep”.

Use a comfortable mattress, pillow and sheets – the joke is that your bed is cozy and does not cause you pain or other uncomfortable sensations.

Adjust the room temperature – the body relaxes and you sleep better in cooler temperatures. Obviously, comfortable temperature is something very personal.

Eliminate lights and noises – use curtains, masks, ear tampons, relaxing music/sound (white noises) or whatever you have within your reach so that external stimuli do not interrupt your sleep.

Experiment with using calming room fresheners – calming scents, like lavender, for example, can help calm the mind and promote an environment conducive to relaxation.

Have a good dream!

Source: Sleep Foundation

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