Many people have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. For most of them, one or more of the common ways to fix the issue. However, for us select few, that advice just doesn’t cut it. It would seem that whatever we do, we wake up even more tired than before. Here are a few tips that should help you regulate your sleep hygiene.
Lack of Sleep Consequences
The consequences of lack of sleep are well-documented and can be highly detrimental to our health. An adult need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Missing even 90 minutes of it can lead to a lack of alertness and daytime sleepiness. Depriving your body of sleep further can and often does cause more severe penalties, like impaired memory, stress, and increases the chances of accidents, especially if you are driving. Chronic sleep deprivation will take its toll even on your looks. Dark circles under the eyes and premature wrinkles are often associated with it. The reason for this is that when your body is under stress, it produces cortisol, which breaks down collagen, an important protein that keeps your skin smooth. People who lack sleep can also suffer from a compromised immune system and lowered sex drive.
There are several sleeping disorders that can seriously affect not only your sleeping hygiene but your overall health. For instance, if you can’t stop drooling in your sleep, you could be suffering from one or more of them and you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Drooling can be a symptom of several fairly serious disorders that may require medical attention. The same could be said about snoring. Sleep apnea can explain both of these symptoms and if left unchecked, it could present a serious health risk. Before you do anything else, this should be your first option. Fortunately, the treatment is fairly simple and effective, so you shouldn’t have any troubles getting rid of it.
Prepare Your Bedroom
Your bedroom should be quiet and dark. Any light source should be either turned off, blocked or dimmed enough not to affect your sleep. Heavy curtains can help you prepare your bedroom. Not only will they block light, but they will also act as a sound barrier, preventing outside noise from interfering with your sleeping. If you can completely eliminate noise, consider using a white noise generator to combat it. They can be somewhat expensive, but there are several apps that can turn your phone into one. You also need to pay attention to temperature. This is an individual preference, so you may need to experiment before you find the setting on a thermostat that works for you.
Ban Electronics from Your Bedroom
Watching some TV in bed or reading through your social media seems like a handy way of falling to sleep. Unfortunately, these activities can cause the opposite effect. Staring at a glowing screen before sleeping confuses your body and reduces the levels of melatonin. Low melatonin means you will have troubles falling to sleep and even once you do, your sleep will be restless. It can be tempting to check your mail and write a few emails in bed, but that makes things even worse. In addition to your phone messing with your melatonin levels, now you are forcing your brain to think about work, instead of preparing for sleep. Regardless of how convenient it is, you shouldn’t do anything work-related in your bed.
Avoid Physical Activities and Caffeine Before Bedtime
Physical activities, in general, can help with your sleeping pattern, but doing exercise before going to bed is generally a bad idea. By elevating your heart rate, you make it difficult for your body to settle down and prepare for sleep. Doing it during the day is a far better solution. Caffeine has a similar effect and shouldn’t be ingested at least two hours before bedtime. This goes for both coffee, tea, and any other caffeinated drink. Instead, drink a warm glass of milk or some relaxing herbal tea that doesn’t contain caffeine.