According to Sleep Disorders Australia (SDA), “sleep hygiene is a term used to describe good sleep habits; things you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good, refreshing sleep. Most of these things are common sense but in the hustle and bustle of modern life are often neglected.”
If you are having trouble sleeping, check these “dos” and “don’ts” of sleep hygiene to help you get back to your dreams.
Do – Choose a “bedtime” and stick to it every night. Sleep Disorders Australia: “the body has a natural clock which will make you sleepy when you’re ready for bed. Try not to ignore this. Going to bed too early may result in a disturbed sleep.”
Do – Exercise regularly. SDA suggests that “there is good evidence that regular exercise improves restful sleep. Ideally this should be taken before dinner or in the morning.”
Do – Wake up at the same time every day. This will help your body clock synchronize with what is going on outside. Get your body used to a regular waking and sleeping time. Don’t believe in the “catching up on sleep” myth, the SDA recommends to avoid the temptation to try to make up for a poor night’s sleep by sleeping in. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be obsessive about it, an occasional night out or sleep in is not going to hurt.
Don’t – Exercise before bed. Exercising immediately before bed stimulates the body and could make it difficult to fall asleep.
Don’t – Go to bed too hungry or too full. If you normally eat light for dinner, KEEP DOING THIS!
Don’t – Nap too close to bedtime. SDA shares that “if you are in the habit of taking a daytime nap and it doesn’t seem to affect your night-time sleep, you might want to keep doing this but try not to sleep in the evening as that is going to reduce your body’s need to fall asleep”
Always remember: We all have an awareness of the benefits of quality nutrition and exercise, but unfortunately the restorative power of sleep is often undervalued and neglected. Our mattress is actually the most used piece of furniture in our homes and is the only piece of furniture with a direct impact on our physical and mental health. Talk to an expert today!