Tips to give you an amazing sleep
Good sleep, for many people, is little more than a dream. According to a study conducted in 2011, 40% of adult Canadians are affected by a sleeping disorder! It’s no wonder why so many people find obstacles in achieving optimal health when they do everything right during the day but they are ignoring their sleeping habits. Sleep is a huge component of healthy living because during those hours your body releases hormones, such as melatonin, which are critical in allowing your body to rejuvenate and recharge.
The term ‘sleep hygiene’ refers to everything that goes into having good sleep habits. Sleep hygiene considers the things you do (behaviour), things around you (environment), and other sleep-related factors.
So what can you do to help to improve your sleep hygiene and get a better sleep?
During the day:
- Get some morning sun! At least 45min of daylight quality light
- Avoid napping in late afternoon or evening
- Exercise regularly (but try and fit it in earlier in the day)
- Avoid caffeine (including tea, coffee, and soda pop) after 3pm – they can be very stimulating making it hard to fall asleep
- Avoid alcohol – even though it is a sedative it can interfere with your sleep!
In the evening:
- Create a pre-bedtime routine and only go to bed when you are tired – try a bath before bed, it will relax you and let your brain know it is almost time to sleep
- Avoid heavy meals before bed
- Avoid drinking any fluids before going to sleep – you don’t need another reason to get up during the night!
- Use the bed only for sleep and sex! Set up another comfortable place to do other activities such as eating, reading, or watching TV
- Find a relaxing practice you enjoy to calm the mind and body – try deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation techniques
- Make sure the room is dark (this includes moonlight, electronics, and clocks) – try wearing a sleep mask if your room is too bright
- Stepanski, E. J., and Wyatt, J. K. 2003. Use of sleep hygiene in the treatment of insomnia. Sleep Medicine Reviews 7(3) 215-225.
- Cote, K. 2004. Normal Sleep and Sleep Hygiene [Brochure]. Canadian Sleep Society.
- PubMed Health. 2013. Relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene for insomnia. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004995/