One of the simplest things you can do to set yourself up for better sleep is to pay attention to your sleep routine.
To practice good sleep habits, one must have a bedroom and a daily routine that facilitates regular, undisturbed slumber. You may improve your sleep by sticking to a regular sleep schedule, creating a peaceful bedroom environment, engaging in a soothing pre-bed ritual, and forming other beneficial habits throughout the day.
The best sleep routine is the one that works for you. Through this approach, you may develop helpful routines that facilitate restful sleep and a revitalized morning.
And that’s precisely what we’ll do: guide you toward the best habits that will benefit you in the long run.
Why Is It Important to Practice Proper Sleep Habits?
When we get enough quality sleep, we feel revitalized and ready to take on the day. Developing healthy sleeping patterns may have a ripple effect on many aspects of our lives. Improved productivity, mental and physical health, and quality of life may all result from getting a better night’s sleep thanks to practicing good sleeping habits prior to bedtime. Additional advantages include:
- Improved memory
- Better resistance to illness
- Faster muscle recovery
- Higher vitality levels
The way we feel and look throughout the day is directly related to the quantity and quality of sleep we get each night, highlighting the need to practice good sleeping habits.
How Do You Know If You Have Bad Sleep Habits?
Poor sleep quality manifests in the form of difficulties in falling asleep, restless nights, and sleepiness throughout the day. The inability to maintain a consistent sleep schedule or quality of sleep can also be an indicator of poor sleep habits.
How Do You Implement Healthy Sleep Habits?
Get your internal clocks in sync first. The brain has a ‘clock’ that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. This 24-hour physiological clock regulates various biological functions, including core body temperature and the release of hormones like melatonin (for more information, check out the Sleep Health Foundation’s fact page on the Body Clock). You should follow your internal clock rather than fight it to get a decent night's sleep.
Also, keep the following points in mind:
- Maintain a regular morning wake-up hour, even on the weekends. If you stick to the same pattern day in and day out, your body clock will eventually set to the schedule, and you’ll feel drowsy at around the same time each night.
- Do not dismiss fatigue. It would help if you got some shut-eye whenever your body suggests it.
- You shouldn’t go to bed if you’re not exhausted. Bad habits, like staying up all night, will be amplified.
- Soak up some rays first thing in the morning. Getting some morning light exposure helps regulate your circadian rhythm.
Maintain a regular exercise routine
Getting at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily may aid sleep. Besides several other benefits, physical activity makes it easier to fall asleep and keeps the times you wake up throughout the night in check, all of which contribute to a more restful slumber. However, if you want to get a good night’s sleep, you should avoid exercising vigorously within one to two hours of bedtime.
Avoid taking long naps throughout the day
Naps longer than 20 minutes, taken numerous times a day, might disrupt your nighttime sleep, although the odd power nap can be helpful. It might be tough to go to sleep at a reasonable hour if you nap late in the day. “Sleep inertia,” the sense of grogginess or confusion upon waking up, may be brought on by naps lasting more than 20 minutes. After two to four hours of feeling this way, a night of sleep may seem like a terrible idea. If you start to feel sleepy in the afternoon, try getting some fresh air and eating a nutritious snack instead of lying down and closing your eyes.
Avoid caffeine after a certain time of day
It's best to avoid caffeinated beverages at least six hours before night (other experts recommend waiting until after 3 p.m.). And not just coffee; several teas, drinks, and even chocolate contain caffeine.
The caffeine content varies widely by beverage, with 25 milligrams in a cup of hot chocolate compared to 50 milligrams in a cup of green or black tea.
Never eat anything too heavy or spicy before bed
It might be difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep after eating dishes high in fat and hot peppers. Research indicates that sugar consumption is closely associated with insomnia and may influence hormones that regulate food desires.
It “is acceptable,” says the National Sleep Foundation, to have a little snack before bed. It suggests chowing down on some almonds, a few cherries (for their melatonin content), a banana (for its potassium and magnesium content), and a variety of caffeine-free teas, including chamomile, ginger, and peppermint.
Develop a soothing ritual to follow just before night
Engaging in a soothing activity approximately an hour before bedtime is highly recommended. This includes taking a warm bath, reading a book, listening to natural sounds, or meditation.
No screens an hour before bedtime, including phones
You’ve heard it a million times, but it bears repeating: Screen time before bed is not a good idea. In order to get quality rest, it’s important to limit screen time to at least one hour before bed. In addition to light, mental stimuli like games, movies, work emails, and social media may keep you far beyond bedtime.
Establish a routine where your phone is outside reach at bedtime. If you remove it off your nightstand, you’ll be less likely to grab for it, even if you’re having trouble sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping without your phone, you may want to try turning it into “Do Not Disturb” or nighttime mode so that it won’t light up or vibrate in the middle of the night.
Keep it face down on your nightstand so you don’t accidentally wake up to its glow. An antique alarm clock may be just the thing to get you out of bed in the morning.
Get Your Zzz's With Ease
While it is a universally applicable principle that sleep habits can modify one’s surroundings and behaviors for better sleep, the specifics of what includes “ideal sleep habits” might vary widely from one individual to the next.
That’s why it’s essential to try out several solutions to see which ones really improve your quality of rest. As a result, you may achieve better sleep habits via gradual, manageable changes.
However, practicing better sleep habits may help those with severe insomnia or sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, but these conditions often need further therapy.
In other words, good sleep habits aren’t a silver bullet, but they can be fairly effective. Consult a medical professional for advice on managing persistent or severe insomnia or excessive daytime drowsiness.