6 Ways to Keep Up Your Sleep Hygiene – we

6 Ways to Keep Up Your Sleep Hygiene

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6 Ways to Keep Up Your Sleep Hygiene

For many of us the term 'sleep hygiene' is an alien concept. Sleep hygiene is the practice of sleeping and waking on a regular schedule and getting an uninterrupted, rejuvenating sleep every night. Those of us struggling with lack of sleep hygiene don't even realize that many of our deteriorating health conditions are due to the lack of proper sleep. Not having a quality sleep can cause or aggravate the health problems like High BP, diabetes, coronary artery disease, paralytic stroke, dementia, obesity and even impotence. Although poor sleep hygiene is usually a result of bad sleeping habits, there could be many underlying health conditions causing it or may be induced by it. These include –

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea which is a sleep disorder with frequent pauses in breathing during sleep leading to disruptive sleep

  2. Insomnia which is habitual sleeplessness or inability to sleep

  3. Narcolepsy which is an extreme tendency to fall asleep in relaxing surroundings

  4. Restless leg syndrome which is a neurological disorder caused by sleep disruption

All these sleep disorders do more than just degrade the quality of life. They can wreak havoc on your concentration levels and cause chronic fatigue putting you at a risk of accidents, nervous breakdown, depression and cardiac arrest. Thus sleep hygiene is something which you should actively adopt. By following these simple steps, you can gradually transform your sleep schedules and improve your health dramatically –

  1. Limit caffeine, nicotine and alcohol intake: Restricting coffee, cola, tea and alcohol intake to a minimum five hours before sleep can greatly enhance the quality of sleep. Smoking before bed time pumps nicotine into the blood stream, which acts as a stimulant. Thus it must be avoided before bed time.

  2. Avoid late and long napping: Good sleep hygiene automatically reduces day time sleepiness and the need for a nap. But if napping is a part of your daily routine, avoid taking naps in the afternoon or in the evening. Also keep the naps shorter than 30 minutes, so you can sleep at your desired bed time in the night.

  3. Lighten your dinner: A heavy dinner can left you feeling bloated and make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid fried and rich foods for dinner to keep your stomach sufficiently full but not loaded.

  4. Create a sleep friendly environment: Dim the lights of your bedroom to start giving your body and brain signals that it is the time to sleep. Avoid loud music or watching television atleast two hours before bed time. To make the environment more relaxing, you can even light up a lavender or jasmine incense in your bedroom before bedtime.

  5. Drink up (on water!): Before going off to sleep, drink enough water so that you don't get parched during the night but not so much that you have to make multiple trips to the toilet during the night.

  6. Stick to a sleep schedule: Most importantly fix a sleep and wake schedule and stick to it for all seven days of the week.

In the young years of our lives we unwittingly develop sleep habits which are nothing short of 'unhygienic' for the biological clock of our body. And by the time we realize that we suffer from lack of sleep hygiene a substantial damage has already been done to various body functions. It is therefore, time to take control of your sleep and ensure abundance of health and happiness, right till the sunset years of your life.

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