How to Have Good Sleep Hygiene?

How to have good sleep hygiene

One of the easiest method to prepare yourself for better sleep is to pay attention to your sleep hygiene. Many people do not consider lack of sleep as a serious issue.

Lack of sleep affects your life anyhow, it does not matter whether you are alert enough to run a day or feel sleepy throughout the day. Because you may not feel fresh and energised throughout the day.

Sleep hygiene is referred to as a healthy sleep pattern. Obtaining a good sleep at night is crucial to improve your quality of life, which includes both mental health and physical health. To achieve this excellent sleep hygiene is important.

Your actions throughout the day will affect sleep, not just before bed. Your capacity to sleep is influenced by a variety of factors, including your schedule, night time routine, food and beverage preferences, and numerous other activities.

Each individual can customise their sleep hygiene routines to meet their needs. You can use this opportunity to develop healthy habits that will help you get a good sleep at night. Continue to read this blog to learn more about sleep hygiene.

Why proper sleep hygiene is crucial?

Healthy sleep is crucial for both physical and mental well-being, enhancing performance and general quality of life. Better sleep can be beneficial for everyone, from young children to elderly people. Good sleep hygiene can play a significant role in attaining quality of life.

Research has shown that developing healthy habits is essential to stay healthy. Healthy behaviours become virtually natural after building activities regularly and these beneficial routines result in a continuous cycle of reinforcement. On the other hand, undesirable behaviours can stick around even when you have unfavourable effects.

However, we are good at making our habits to work in our favour to make it up for longer run. It can be beneficial to build a habit that supports our aims.

Improving sleep hygiene is a low-risk, low-cost component of public health strategy for addressing the major issues of insomnia and insufficient sleep in America.

Signs of Bad Sleep Hygiene?

The most obvious symptoms of poor sleep hygiene includes difficulty falling asleep, frequent sleep disruptions, and daytime tiredness. Another sign of poor sleep hygiene is a lack of regularity in the amount or quality of your sleep. There are various reasons which affect the quality of sleep including environment, food habits, and bedtime routine. 

Caffeine before bed

According to the study, caffeine consumption has a negative impact on our ability to fall asleep. Caffeine consumption before bedtime on a regular basis lowers sleep quantity and increases daytime drowsiness. Caffeine consumption six hours before bedtime causes a one-hour or longer sleep disruption.

Before going to bed, you should avoid things that contain caffeine.

  • Chocolate

  • Cocoa

  • Tea or coffee

  • a few drugs which contain caffeine 

  • Certain soft drinks which contain Caffeine

How much amount of caffeine-containing beverages we can have in a day? According to a study by Mayo Clinic, people should not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine daily. 

Decaffeinated beverages should be your first choice if you feel the temptation to consume anything caffeinated.

Alcohol before sleep

According to this study, drinking alcohol will make you feel lethargic and exhausted.  Alcohol use affects the quality of your sleep. Additionally, alcohol may not only inhibit breathing but also hasten sleep apnea. While alcohol temporarily makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep longer, it shortens your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) in sleep. 

You have to deal with side effects of alcohol that depend on alcohol consumption the more you consume the more side effects will produce. You will experience poor attention and daytime tiredness because it affects your REM sleep.

Usage of devices before sleeping

Using a device affects sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, up to 90% of Americans use a technology or device before going to bed affects their quality of sleep. This study makes it sufficiently evident that utilising electronics before bed has a negative effect on sleep.

The circadian rhythm also referred as the body’s internal clock which is delayed by using various gadgets or electronic devices. They also prevent the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep, making it difficult for you to fall asleep.

The main reason these devices interfere with your sleep as they generate blue light. It is a good idea to turn off all electronics and devices in your bedroom, especially two hours before you plan to go to bed.

Late night Snacks

Late night snacks affects the sleep according to this study.

The muscles that are in charge of breaking down and metabolising our food are not at rest.  When we eat in the late night, especially right before bed might prevent us from falling asleep.

Eating after midnight throws your body out of balance. It has a direct connection to poor health. The following problems result from eating just before going to bed

  • Dramatic changes to your metabolism and gaining weight.

  • Increased levels of blood sugar

  • Increased blood pressure

Additionally, you will struggle to achieve the peaceful and deep sleep stages which affects your body’s resting period.

As a general guideline, try your best to eat dinner at least two hours before going to bed. If you frequently experience heartburn at night, avoid eating three to four hours before going to bed.

Fluid consumption

It is beneficial for the body to stay hydrated throughout the day. However, avoid consuming excessive amounts of fluids at night it makes you awake frequently at night which results in preventing you from falling into a deep sleep.

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep habits are all about setting yourself up for sleep every night.

It is possible to harness habits to make getting a good night’s sleep feel more automatic by making adjustments to your sleep schedule, pre-bed routine, and daily routines. Decorating your bedroom with a cool colour and relaxing atmosphere can also help you to unwind and fall asleep.

The following tips below will be beneficial for your sleep hygiene but they are not strict requirements. You can modify the requirements according to your needs and build your own sleep hygiene checklist.

Sleep schedule

  • Have a fixed wake-up time

    Attempt to wake up at the same time every day, whether it is during the week or on the weekend.

  • Make sleep your priority

    It may be tempting to forgo sleep in order to work, study, socialise, or exercise, but it is important to give sleep the attention it deserves.

  • Make modifications gradually

    Do not attempt to change your sleep schedule entirely at once. Instead, gradually change your schedule by no more than an hour or two at a time to give yourself time to adjust.

  • Avoid daytime dose

    Taking too many naps or doses can interfere with your ability to sleep at night. Naps can be a useful way to refuel during the day. Try to confine your afternoon naps to the early hours of the day to avoid this.

Maintain your night routine 

  • Maintain consistency in your routine

    The same routine every night, such as putting on your clothes and brushing your teeth, can help you remember when it’s time for bed.

  • Plan to relax for 30 minutes

    Utilise anything that helps you relax, such as relaxing music, gentle stretching, reading, or relaxation techniques.

  • Avoid bright lights 

    Avoid bright lights as much as you can because they can prevent the body’s generation of the hormone melatonin, which helps people fall asleep.

  • Unplug from electronics

    Schedule a buffer period of 60 to 120 minutes before going to bed that is device-free. Cell phones, tablets, and laptops emit blue light, which may inhibit the generation of melatonin, as well as mental stimulation that is difficult to turn off.

  • Testing relaxation techniques

    You can get ready for bed using relaxation techniques including timed breathing, meditation, and mindfulness.

  • Don’t toss and turn during sleep 

    Establishing a solid mental link between lying in bed and falling asleep is helpful. Because of this, before attempting to fall asleep again if after 20 minutes you still have not done so, stand up and stretch, read, or do anything else calming in dim light.


Develop healthy habits

  • Get daylight exposure

    One of the main regulators of circadian rhythms that can promote sound sleep is light, particularly sunlight.

  • Exercise regularly

    Along with a plethora of other health advantages, regular exercise will help you sleep better at night.

  • Do not smoke

    Smoking is associated with a variety of sleeping issues because nicotine stimulates the body in ways that interrupt sleep.

  • Avoid Alcohol

    Alcohol may help people fall asleep more easily, but once the influence wears off, sleep disruptions later in the night occur.

  • Reduce your caffeine consumption in the afternoon and evening

    Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can keep you awake even while you’re trying to sleep.

  • Do not eat late at night

    Generally speaking, any meals or snacks had before bed should be on the lighter side. It would be good if you had your dinner 2 hours before going to bed.

Environment Changes

Beyond routines, your sleeping environment is a crucial aspect of good sleep hygiene. Make sure your environment is calm and pleasant so that you can fall asleep more quickly. 

Although everyone has a different idea of what makes a bedroom inviting, the following advice can help to keep it peaceful and distraction-free:

  • Use a comfortable pillow and mattress.

  • Use top-notch bedding to feel comfortable yourself.

  • Set a comfortable temperature (around 65 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Use thick curtains or an eye mask to block out light to keep it from disturbing your sleep.

  • Use earplugs to drown out the noise. It can help you stop being kept awake by the noise.

  • Try using calming scents like lavender, which can help to create a peaceful environment conducive to sleeping.

As we discussed above, everyone can benefit from improving their environment and sleeping habits, which is the core premise of sleep hygiene. However, each person will have different preferences.

It is also crucial to understand that enhancing sleep hygiene could not always help with sleeping issues. 

Better sleep hygiene may help people with severe insomnia or sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea, but other therapies are typically required as well. It is essential to consult a doctor if you experience persistent or severe sleeping issues or daytime tiredness so they can advise you on the best course of action.

Varsha,
Senior Specialist Dietitian, Simplyweight

The London Obesity & Endocrine Clinic specialises in Weight Loss and Endocrine disorders at the Specialist Weight Loss Centre in Chennai, India. We offer face to face and virtual consultations with our specialist clinical lead, Dr Rajeswaran, who has 25+ years experience in this field. We support people with Obesity related medical conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, Fatty Liver, Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction, and Endocrine disorders like Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, PCOS, Hirsutism, Adrenal Dysfunction, Menopause, Pituitary problems and Sexual Dysfunction. Our services predominantly cover major cities in India including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and PuneWe also offer aesthetic treatments, metabolic master health checkups, bespoke weight management plans and an unique online weight loss plan for wellness and weight management. Get in touch to transform your life!

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