Good sleep contributes to your overall sense of wellness and health. One must maintain good sleeping habits or sleep hygiene in order to sleep well.
Your daily activities influence your ability to sleep. The foods and drinks you consume, your nighttime routine, and how much time you spend on your screen influence your sleep. The following tips will guide you to a good night’s sleep.
1. Create a bedtime routine that you love
The most important aspect of this step is to create a routine that you are comfortable with and can commit to practicing daily. That will help you remain motivated, and you won’t feel like it’s a chore. Some people like to use aromatherapy before bed, either by using a humidifier with a few drops of lavender essential oil or using perfume sprays with herbs that promote relaxation before bedtime. Others are more content to read a few pages of their favorite book before turning off the light. Think of what helps you relax and brings you joy, write it down and try to start your bedtime routine at least 30 mins before bed.
2. Practice relaxation techniques
Some relaxation techniques involve belly breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. Another tool you can use to relax before bed is meditation. There are many guided meditations that are available for free on YouTube, as well as progressive muscle relaxation videos. You can visit our channel on youtube to learn more about the relaxation techniques discussed.
3. Use your bedroom for sleeping
Some of the habits that might interfere with a healthy sleep cycle are watching TV, working, or using your phone in bed while you are trying to sleep. Mobile phones, laptops, and televisions release melatonin-disturbing light waves that negatively affect sleep quality. Late-night eating also negatively impacts and aggravates the digestive system, and waking up with an upset stomach is on no one’s to-do list. When consistently using the bed to sleep only, it will help train your brain to fall asleep faster once your head hits the pillow.
4. Use a white noise machine or earplugs
This technique is most effective if you live in a noisy environment. Earplugs absorb and reflect sound energy. If you prefer not to use a white noise machine, you can get the same effect by turning on your fan or AC. Another option is that you can play white noise videos which can easily be found online.
5. Limit naps to 15-20 minutes in the early afternoon
Studies show that naps enhance performance, ability to focus, and overall mood. However, it is important to keep nap time between 15–20 mins. Napping for over 20 minutes can increase inertia, leaving you tired and disoriented. These symptoms get worse if you are already sleep-deprived. Napping for too long can also negatively impact sleep during the night. The best time for a nap is in the early afternoon, as napping late in the afternoon might affect night sleep.
When to consult a therapist?
While childhood experiences can be relevant in some cases, therapy is also focused on your thoughts, feelings, and your daily behavior. Therapy styles like Psychodynamic or Psychoanalysis are more focused on the past, while other therapy styles such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), Gestalt therapy, and Integrative Humanistic therapy are more focused on the present. Discuss with your therapist what you are expecting and what makes you comfortable. If you want to keep the past in the past, then that is an option you can take.
It’s important to invest time and effort into your sleeping habits. Our sleep strategies will positively impact your overall health, and whether you implement some or all of them, your body will thank you for it by providing you with more energy and a better mood.
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