Practicing Sleep Hygiene Means Improved Sleep Overall: Practical Tips For Maximizing Time on the Mattress
In this fast-paced, iPhone-centric culture, many of us tend to be excellent multitaskers, managing work and home life like a pro (well…most of the time anyway). Whether you’re keeping things afloat with a killer daily planner, a monthly house calendar, or you’re rocking a calendar app on your phone, you likely have some sort of system that helps you keep everything running smoothly. Now what if I told you there was a secret step that you could add to your day-to-day scheduling that would make everything easier, stress lower, and it’s something that we even experimented with our president on? You’re smart. You probably already guessed it. It’s sleep!
Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene and Setting a Sleep Schedule
Committing to consistent habits that lead to better sleep is something called ‘sleep hygiene’, a term thrown around by sleep experts and health and wellness podcasters alike. Thinking about sleep as a practice of ‘hygiene’ is an excellent motivator when it comes to taking some healthy steps towards a better quality of sleep. Think about your other daily hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, or putting on deodorant. You wouldn’t think twice about skipping these daily duties, so why skip out on something as essential as practices to help induce a rejuvenating night of rest?
One of the easiest and most effective ways to start improving your sleep is setting a consistent sleep schedule. Those smart dudes at Harvard explain that “keeping a regular sleep schedule — even on weekends — maintains the timing of the body’s internal clock and can help you fall asleep and wake up more easily.” It can be difficult, especially for those who love their weekend nightlife, to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule. No one is perfect. You DEFINITELY shouldn’t give up your tickets to see Rush in concert just because your bedtime is 10pm, but it’s all about balance and setting goals that aim to help your sleep life overall. Being as proactive about scheduling sleep times into the daily calendar as your other daily duties can be a game changer. It’s like setting aside the time to exercise or taking the time to do some healthy meal prep for your week. It’s annoying at first, but in no time you’ll see the amazing benefits trickle down into every part of your life because you’ll have more energy to do the things that need to get done.
Practical Tips For Sleep Scheduling
So you’re ready to start sticking to a consistent sleep schedule but you’re not sure how? No worries, we’ve got some tips. Committing to better sleep habits can be as simple as setting a reminder on your phone. First, think of the time you would like to be asleep by and the time you’d like to wake up in the morning. Try your best to allow yourself at least 8 hours of sleeping time. Then, set the alarm reminder on your phone for an hour before the time that you’d actually like to be asleep (iPhones have a built in sleeping timer that’s perfect for this and even reminds you when you should be in bed!) This extra hour can be “wind down” time where you go through a night time routine that signals to your brain that it’s almost time for bed. Choose some relaxing activities such as reading a book, drinking chamomile tea, simple breathing exercises or meditation. Practice these things every night before bed at around the same times each night and you’ll be amazed at how the quality of your sleeping life with improve!
Sleeping well is absolutely vital to our health and does wonders for our bodies, minds, and emotional well being. We know what it feels like when we aren’t getting enough and what it feels like when we are. The difference between a sleep-deprived state and well-rested state are like night and day.
By implementing some of these tips for better sleep hygiene, hopefully, you’ll start seeing results that will make you wonder why it took so long to start.