Finding it hard to fall asleep? We know we are. With everything going on in the world right now, so many of us are tossing and turning all night and finding it tough to get a good night’s sleep.
But don’t worry, we’ve done the research to help you catch those precious zzz’s, so read on to explore what sleep hygiene is and how you can create a sleep hygiene checklist to create the perfect bedtime routine and get a better night sleep.
‘Sleep hygiene’ is all about building healthy habits that help you get a more restful night’s sleep essentially, what you can control to improve the quality of your sleep . There are so many factors that have a big impact on how well you sleep at night, even what you eat and drink can affect the quality of your sleep! Practicing proper sleep hygiene is not only important for our physical health, but our mental wellbeing too.
If you’re finding yourself awake in the night, waking up tired or feeling sluggish by mid-afternoon, here is a sleep hygiene checklist to help you make some simple changes to get a better night’s sleep, every night!
1. Keep Moving
So many of us are working from home right now so we know that getting your recommended amount of exercise (150 minutes per week) can be tricky. However, movement is super important for your sleep hygiene routine to help you get a better sleep. If you can’t get outside, that’s okay! Indoor exercise still gives you the same benefits. Bear in mind, rigorous exercise can increase your body temperature and energy levels, so we suggest to avoid this 2 hours before bedtime so you can catch those zzz’s easily.
2. Review Your Diet
The saying ‘you are what you eat’ relates massively to your diet and sleep. Having a healthy gut is vital to controlling your sleeping patterns and improving a better sleep schedule, as these organs produce the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin and play a vital role in the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Another chemical that helps to regulate sleep is tryptophan, and this is found in various foods like peanuts, oats, cheese, turkey/chicken and milk. So, you’re onto a winner if you love to cozy down with a warm glass of milk before bed.
3. Cut Down The Caffeine
We know, it’s easier said than done, but avoiding or even just cutting down on caffeine is super important when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep. The effects from the caffeine in your 4pm latte can last from 3-7 hours and it can stay in your system for up to 12 hours!
Everyone is different so everyone’s tolerance to caffeine varies; some of us can have a cup of coffee mid-afternoon and will sleep like a baby and others will be up all night! But, if you think that caffeine is having an impact on your sleep hygiene, try to avoid the energy booster four to six hours before you hop into bed.
4. Keep Your Cool And Dim Those Lights
Research shows that bright lights can increase your levels of brainwave activity, which can keep you awake at night. To help this, try using lamps or turning the lights in your house down around an hour before going to bed. Another idea is to purchase a lower wattage or lower blue light bulb to go in your bathroom, this can help stop your brain becoming too over stimulated and energized before sleep so you can nod off more easily.
As well as keeping the lighting low, sleeping in a cool room helps create the perfect environment for a better night’s sleep. The ideal sleeping temperature ranges between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature goes hand in hand with your body temperature, which naturally lowers when you sleep to help stop you from waking up during the night.
5. Switch Off Your Phone
Who else is guilty of getting into a Youtube hole at 11pm? Your phone and laptop screens emit blue light, this can keep your brain alert and reduce the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) in your body. To keep the levels of melatonin nice and high, try to turn off all your devices before you head to bed. Putting them in a different room altogether helps to avoid temptation to peak at pesky notifications. If you use your phone as your alarm, why not try changing it up to a good old fashioned alarm clock – a retro start to each day!
6. Take A Look At Your Sleep Schedule
We all get tempted by the snooze button when that dreaded 7am alarm rings, but those extra 5 minutes in bed might be doing you more harm than good. Having a regular sleep schedule helps you feel less sleepy during the day and means you fall asleep and wake up easier. Try going to bed nd waking up at the same time every day (even on the weekends!) to get a better sleep schedule back on track.
A good night’s sleep for the average adult should be between 7-9 hours per night, so make sure your bedtime allows for this. You’ll be waking up refreshed and revived in no time.
7. Manage Your Stress
If your troubles are keeping you up at night, writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal before bed can take some weight off your shoulders. Noting down worries or making a to-do list for the next day can help get them out of your mind for the night, and ready to reflect on in the morning, so you can settle peacefully.
Another practice that is super beneficial for settling the mind and to get a more restful sleep is meditation. Some studies suggest that meditating before bed has a similar effect to taking sleeping aids, helps to reduce the chances of waking up throughout the night and is one of the best ways to get a good night sleep.
8. Create A Relaxing Routine
Winding down from your day is crucial for a better sleep. Creating a zen evening routine can help you to forget about any worries or stresses you may have had in the day and help to extend the benefits of good sleep hygiene. Who doesn’t love a long, hot soak in the bath? These can soothe your muscles and help you get ready for a perfect night’s sleep. Not only will you feel calmed and content, but a good soak will help your body on the inside too! According to research, a hot bath will raise your body temperature, this encourages your body to cool down quicker and induce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
To help you create the perfect sleep hygiene and the best way to get a good nights sleep is to try our best-selling Liquid Yoga range. Supercharged with powerful aromatherapy essential oils, the full range takes you away to your ultimate zen and serenity. Begin by indulging your bath time with our Liquid Yoga Bath Soak; charged with a blend of herbs and minerals to relax your body and mind as well as calming Cannabis Seed Oil. Next, smooth our Go With The Flow Calming Body Oil over your skin. Filled with Almond Oil and our natural Feel-Good Complex, your skin is nourished whilst your senses are uplifted. Finally, spritz our revolutionary Liquid Yoga Space Spray over your pillow and around your bedroom, to let yourself drift off to dreamland.