With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it isn’t surprising that many of us are tossing and turning all night long and struggling to fall asleep.
To help you achieve your precious zzz’s, read on to discover what sleep hygiene is and how to create a sleep hygiene checklist to help you master a perfect bedtime routine…
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
The phrase ‘sleep hygiene’ refers to any habit that promotes a restful night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is very important for your physical and mental health as well as your overall wellbeing. Did you know that your daily habits can have a big impact on how well you sleep at night? Even your food and drink choices can affect your sleep quality!
If you find yourself waking up tired, groggy and reaching for a sweet, sugary treat mid-afternoon, we have created a sleep hygiene checklist with some easy changes that you can make to help you get a great night’s sleep each and every night!
1. Limit Caffeine
Up first on our list of good sleep hygiene tips is avoiding caffeine (although we know this is easier said than done). But, the affects of caffeine can last from 3-7 hours after consuming and it can stay in your system for up to 12 hours, so your 4pm cappuccino might be keeping you awake a lot longer than you had hoped.
Everyone has a different level of tolerance to caffeine and some people may be able to have a cup of coffee mid-afternoon and sleep totally fine without any problems! But, if you’re concerned that caffeine is affecting your sleep hygiene, try avoiding it four to six hours before hitting the hay.
2. Dim The Lights And Keep Your Cool
According to research, bright lights can trigger higher levels of brainwave activity that can keep you awake at night. Try turning the lights around your house down an hour or so before going to bed and consider purchasing a lower wattage/lower blue light bulb for your bathroom to avoid your brain becoming over stimulated and energised before sleep.
Avoid cranking up the central heating before bed too, as sleeping in a cool room is much better for your health. The perfect sleeping temperature is anywhere between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. When you sleep, your body temperature naturally lowers and this helps promote sleep and prevents you from waking up during the night.
3. Review Your Sleep Schedule
Although the snooze button is tempting when your 7am alarm wakes up call hits, those extra 5 minutes in bed could be doing more harm than good. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day (even on weekends) as this can re-set your internal body clock and help you fall asleep and wake up easier. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule also helps reduce sleepiness during the day! A win-win.
The average adult should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, so make sure that your bedtime of choice allows for this so that you wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
4. Turn Off Your Phone
Anyone else guilty of scrolling through Instagram at 11pm? Your phone and laptop emit blue light which can keep your brain alert and reduce the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) within your body. To avoid a dip in melatonin, try turning off all devices before bed and put them into another room to avoid temptation and those pesky social media notifications that keep you up all night. If you use your phone as an alarm, consider switching to a good old fashioned alarm clock to help you rise and shine in the morning.
If you’re working from home, getting your recommended daily 30 minutes of exercise can be tricky when tied to your desk all day. However, exercise is an important part of your sleep hygiene routine as it can help to improve your overall sleep quality. Don’t worry if you can’t get outside, as indoor exercise still provides you with the same benefits, so there’s no excuses! However, we suggest avoiding rigorous exercise 2 hours before bedtime as this can increase your body temperature and energy levels, making it trickier to fall asleep.
6. Manage Your Stress
If your worries are keeping you awake at night, try writing a journal before bed. Noting down your worries or to-do list for the next day can help ease your stresses and help get them out of your mind and onto paper. This way, you can forget about your worries for the night and sleep peacefully knowing that you can reflect on them in the morning.
Meditation is also highly beneficial for settling the mind and some studies suggest that it has a similar effect to taking sleeping aids and helps reduce your chances of unbroken sleep.
7. Take A Look At Your Diet
The saying goes ‘you are what you eat.’ Your diet plays a huge role in helping to produce hormones that help control your sleeping patterns. Serotonin, also known as the happy hormone is produced in our gut and it also plays a crucial role in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Tryptophan is another chemical that helps regulate sleep and it is found within certain foods including turkey, cottage cheese, dates, bananas and milk. So, if you love a warm mug of milk before bedtime, you’re doing the right thing!
8. Create A Relaxing Evening Routine
Creating a relaxing evening routine can help you forget about the worries and stresses of your day and help extend the benefits of good sleep hygiene. At night time, there is nothing better than a long, hot soak in the bath to help soothe your muscles and prepare you body for a great night’s sleep. In fact, according to research soaking in a hot bath will raise your body temperature; encouraging your body to cool down more rapidly therefore inducing the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin!
Our bestselling Liquid Yoga range is supercharged with powerful aromatherapy essential oils to help transport you to your ultimate place of zen and serenity. First, begin by dousing your bath water in our Liquid Yoga Bath Soak; charged with calming Cannabis Seed oil and a blend of herbs and minerals to relax your mind and body. Next, smooth our Go With The Flow body oil over your skin. Charged with Almond Oil and our Feel-Good Complex to uplift your senses and nourish your skin. Finally, before bed spritz our iconic Liquid Yoga Space Spray over your pillow and around your bedroom and let yourself drift off to dreamland.