The word “hygiene” is most often used as being synonymous with “cleanliness.” However, the actual definition of hygiene has to do with environmental influences, habits, and practices that have an impact on your health. There are all kinds of hygiene, which is imperative for your well-being and health, and most are geared toward lowering your chance of contracting diseases, spreading viruses and germs, getting infections, and preventing oral gingivitis and cavities. However, sleep hygiene is a little different than the other types of hygiene. Let’s take a look at sleep hygiene and how it helps your everyday life.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
It is a range of practices required to have quality, regular nighttime sleep, and daytime alertness. The most critical sleep hygiene measure is the maintenance of a normal wake and sleep pattern; it is also critical to spend the right amount of time in bed, not too excessive, or too little. This can vary on an individual basis. For instance, if a person has issues with feeling sleepy during the day then they should get at least eight hours in bed. On the other hand, if they have trouble staying asleep then they should spend no more than seven to consolidate their sleep pattern.
The Importance of Sleep Hygiene
Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is critical to your overall happiness and health. Most of us feel it when we lose a couple of hours of sleep. We wake up cranky and tired the following day and have issues staying alert, concentrating, and remaining in a bright mood. These can all happen with just one day of poor sleep. If you usually do not get enough sleep, then you are putting yourself at risk for a range of medical conditions and health issues such as heart attacks, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, memory loss, and chronic stress.
How to Have Good Sleep Hygiene
Most people know the impact that their poor sleep quality is having on their lives, but many are not sure about the kinds of activities that contribute to sleep loss, or the practices that could help them get more and higher quality sleep. Many people think that because they get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, they are practicing good sleep hygiene. However, while getting the right amount of sleep each night is important the quality of your sleep is even more critical. If you do things that are sleep disruptive, your mind and body are not able to get the rest they need to repair themselves and prepare for the following day.
Regular Sleep Schedule for Good Sleep Hygiene
The most important personal habit to maintain for good sleep hygiene is to have a regular bedtime schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day is one of the best things you can do to get better sleep. This includes weekends, which means avoiding late nights and sleeping in as much as possible. Not getting enough sleep on the weekdays and then binge sleeping on the weekends is terrible for your sleep cycles.
Exercise and Healthy Eating Effect on Sleep Hygiene
Exercise fosters energy and also lowers depression, anxiety, and stress. It is best to exercise in the late afternoon so that the physical activity will wear you out, but won’t keep you up at night. Additionally, eating healthy is imperative to a good night of sleep. There’s no secret that some foods are excellent for restful sleep while others keep you up at night. Processed carbs, spicy and fatty foods are the worst for restful sleep. Foods high in processed carbs and fat do not have the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to produce energy, leaving you feeling sluggish throughout the day. Eating spicy foods too soon to bedtime can also disrupt your sleep by causing you to have acid reflux.