Good sleep hygiene is as important a part of your overall wellbeing as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Having and maintaining a healthy sleep habit can improve the quality of your life. Researchers have proven that poor sleep directly affects your body function; hormonal imbalance, brain function, and performance during workouts. It may also make you more susceptible to ailments and weight gain. Cases of chronic deprivation of sleep may cause increased stress, poor attention and cognitive impairment.
I have struggled with poor sleep hygiene for as long as I can remember. Being awake at 3 a.m. for most of the nights after struggling to snooze off for almost 45 minutes was a terrible nightmare. It had become a norm so that I could tell the exact time by the sound of activities around. For instance, when the neighbour’s dog barked, I knew it was around 2:30 a.m. and her drunken husband was now home.
Well, this started affecting my social and academic life, and while going through the internet one day, I bumped into an article that helped me change my overall habits, and with time, I have been able to improve and sustain a good night’s sleep. Here are some of the practices that I have adopted to gain the sleep of my dreams.
Ditch the caffeine before bedtime
I loved my cup of hot chocolate before bed because I thought that it helped me relax. Apparently, caffeine works as a stimulant that keeps you awake, and it’s commonly found in beverages like coffee, chocolate, tea, and in some pain killers. Therefore, I would advise you to enjoy your warm cup at least four to six hours prior to bedtime.
Leave the phone in another room
I always had a habit of scrolling through my phone to make sure that I didn’t miss out anything on my social media pages, as I go to bed. I thought that this would help me drift to sleep but nothing close to that. The blue light prevents the release of melatonin, which is a hormone that activates sleep. Since I banned my phone from my bedroom, I take much less time to fall asleep.
Sleep at the same time, daily
When I was little, my mum made sure that at 9 p.m. I was in bed regardless of what was going on. Well, I’ve had to get back to this old habit that’s ignited my internal clock and granted me consistent quality sleep, every night. I also wake up around the same time every morning.
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Cozy vibes in here now with some new floating lamps 💗 I just used a Hemma cord from Ikea that plug into the wall and got creative to outfit some existing burlap shades I had, by cutting a small notch on the inner metal frame to push the cord through. I love the warm glow in here now and it’s so great to have the extra room on top of our night stands now that the lamp bases are gone. All we do to turn them on is flick a switch on the wall that’s wired to these outlets 👍🏽 #diyhomedecor . . . #cozy #bedding #bench #bed #pillows #farmhousehome #crochet #rug #bedroomdecor #bedroomdesign #bedroomideas
I have come to realise that taking a shower and then reading a book helps me to activate sleep much faster than sitting down to watch the television. I try as much as possible to avoid any stressful or emotional talk before bedtime because this stimulates cortisol, the stress hormone which makes one more alert.
Last but not least, I have put up dark curtains, changed my mattress and pillows for maximum comfort on my way to dreamland.