Good sleep habits and healthy sleep hygiene are something you probably learned from your parents. For example, it is good to go to bed and stand up at regular times. Also, a sleep rite before going to bed causes your brain and body to prepare to fall asleep.Furthermore, it is important to sleep undisturbed in a quiet, dark, cool bedroom. Also enough exercise, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and poor food adds to a healthy, refreshing night’s sleep late in the evening.
As an adult, you are responsible for the circumstances under which you are going to sleep.But over the years, you may have developed habits that are not good for your sleeping pattern. Watch TV in bed, your ipad or smartphone in bed, sit down and have little exercise during the day, a snoring partner, the use of alcohol or eating late night snacks. All elements that can disturb your sleep well.
A bad sleep hygiene is therefore often the cause of many sleep problems. Sleeplessness, difficulty sleeping, getting too often or too early, difficulty sleeping back and getting tired are all examples of sleep problems that may occur if you have a bad sleep hygiene.
The 7 golden rules for good sleep hygiene
The following recommendations ensure proper sleep hygiene:
1. Fixed bedtime
Go to bed at fixed times and get up at fixed times. Also on weekends. If you went to bed a little later, do not sleep a hole in the day, but no longer than 1 or 2 hours longer.
2. Adequate physical exercise
Provide sufficient daytime movement. Minimally 30 minutes of intense motion and go outside as much as possible. Especially in winter. Go if you can work on your bike. Take the stairs more often, go sports, take a dog or take a walk during your lunch break.
3. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol
Do not drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, coke and redbull in the evening. These agents are stimulating and suppress your sleep. Do not smoke and certainly not before you go to sleep. Difficulty to quit smoking? Do the FREE Course “Everyone Can Stop Smoking,YOU ALSO !” Do not drink or drink 1 glass of alcohol a day. Read the article Alcohol and sleepfor a comprehensive explanation of the effect of alcohol on your sleep.
4. No heavy meal or sweets
Do not eat heavy meals or sweets (chocolate, ice cream, etc.) before going to sleep. Except bad for your line, this is also bad for your sleep because you are going to dream more.
5. No TV, tablet or smartphone in the bedroom
How nice it may be to watch TV or to candy crush on your ipad before bedtime, the bright blue light stimulates the brain and reduces the production of substances that make you sleepy.
6. Dark, cool and quiet bedroom
To sleep undisturbed, it’s important that your bedroom is dark, cool, well ventilated and there are no noises that can keep you awake or wake up. Buy earplugs or a sleep mask .
8. Good bed and pillow
Provide a good mattress that is not older than 10 years and a pillow that provides the right support for your favorite sleeping position. There are special pillows for silk sleepers , cushions for abdominal sleepers and pillow pillows .
7. Sleep ritual
Create a sleepy sleeper that lets you relax well before going to sleep. For example, write your worries on a to-do list, turn the heater down, dim the lights, take a hot shower, take an evening walk, drink some herbal teas and put your stuff ready for tomorrow. It is important to prepare your body and mind for sleep.