The need for a good night’s sleep is something that everyone desires. As the seasons change, receiving that well rested sleep can be difficult as outdoor temperatures fluctuate, allergens circulate, holiday planning begins, and all of the other factors out there come into play. That’s why Innovative Sleep Centers in Aberdeen has put together a useful guide to help others practice good sleep hygiene and wake up feeling refreshed no matter the time of the year.
What exactly is sleep hygiene? This is a term used to describe good sleep habits. Ample research has been put into developing a set of guidelines and tips that were created to improve good sleep habits. A few of these top strategies are listed below and have extensive research backing them to prove that they can bolster long-term solutions for many people with sleep difficulties.
The first and foremost tip to a good night’s sleep is to make one’s bedroom as “cave-like” as possible. Keep the temperature no higher than 75 degrees and invest in curtains that minimize exterior light and help muffle outdoor noises. Another way to create a quieter sleeping space is to turn cell phones to silent, shut off TVs and radios, and use a fan, white-noise generator or earplugs. Removing pets from the bedroom is also a smart choice to create a more calming atmosphere.
Limit Caffeine, Liquids and Meals in the Evening
Caffeine is often an integral part of a morning routine, however, limiting consumption to the morning hours and stopping after 2:00 p.m. is key to ensuring that the effects don’t run into the evening hours. Caffeine is found not only in coffee, but also in some soda, chocolate, tea and OTC medicine. An herbal cup of tea is often a good substitute later in the afternoon.
Whatever one’s bedtime may be, try to keep away from too much liquid consumption two hours beforehand. In addition, try to maintain consistent meal times, especially dinner, and have meals that aren’t too heavy in the evening.
Avoid Alcohol and Smoking Before Bedtime
Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. Once the alcohol has metabolized, the CNS will “rebound” and become more aroused resulting in a lighter sleep and more frequent wake ups throughout the night. If your bedtime is around 10:00 p.m., then a drink or two around 6:00 p.m. will be mostly metabolized by the time you lay in bed.
Another factor to an uneasy night’s rest is smoking too close to bedtime. Also, try to avoid smoking during wake-ups in the middle of the night. This may inadvertently condition more regular awakenings in the future.
No matter the time that an exercise routine takes place, studies show that it can help promote sleep in the evening. Although exercise is important, try to avoid too strenuous of activities within three hours of bedtime as it will raise your body temperature and delay sleep.
Schedule “Worry Time”
Lastly, try to schedule in some ”worry time” in the late afternoon or evening. Setting aside a designated time to plan upcoming deadlines and activities that cause anxious or angry feelings can help limit them by bedtime. Lying awake in bed with a stressful mind is often the cause of more restless sleep patterns.
Learn more about improving your sleep patterns by reading Innovative Sleep Center’s Sleep Health Blog here. Call Innovative Sleep Centers at 360-612-3069 to schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist to sleep better and live healthier.