Sleep hygiene: what is it and how to do it?

If you sleep poorly or have constant insomnia problems, this tip is especially for you: have you ever heard of sleep hygiene ? If not, continue reading!

How many times have you gone to sleep and turned from side to side, without actually being able to relax and concentrate on sleep? Sometimes, it seems like just lying down on your pillow makes your mind speed up ten times faster and you start thinking about everything that has ever happened in your life, right?

This happens because there is probably no pre-existing routine before bedtime. Just as you need planning to execute everyday things perfectly, you also need to create habits before bed .

Your body needs to adjust and slow down at least a few minutes before you actually lie down to sleep. This cycle is part of sleep hygiene!

What is sleep hygiene?

In short, sleep hygiene consists of a set of techniques and habits that need to be applied before going to sleep or even during the day, with the aim of achieving a better quality of sleep.

In other words, you need to create a process to tell your body when it’s time to sleep, so that it understands this and starts to slow down until, in fact, it goes into total rest mode.

Practicing sleep hygiene every day can be great for organizing your day and having better, less troubled nights.

Sleep hygiene can be carried out at all ages and is completely customizable according to each person’s routine, as you understand what works for your body and put these actions into practice for better and complete rest.

What are the consequences of not sleeping well?

Our body is like a machine and, like any electronic device, when it is left on for too long, it breaks down or starts to freeze, gradually stopping working until it is completely lost. With the body, when we go too long without sleeping, something similar happens.

Especially after the pandemic, many people started to experience insomnia and reported problems sleeping well .

It seems harmless, but spending a long time without sleeping can lead to a series of consequences for our body, as the body works during sleep, especially to recharge energy and process learning and emotions experienced during the day.

Know some consequences of not sleeping well:

  • Chronic fatigue;
  • Memory failure;
  • Tendency to hypertension;
  • Drop in immunity ;
  • Sadness and irritability;
  • Hormonal changes;
  • Increases the risk of diseases;
  • Slower metabolism;
  • Decreased libido.

Furthermore, sleeping well is essential to avoid sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, sleepwalking and night terrors, as well as helping to prevent nightmares from happening too.

If you suffer from chronic insomnia or have more than one sleep disorder, seek professional help. When not treated correctly, these problems can lead to serious illnesses and problems such as stress and depression.

How to do sleep hygiene?

Despite being completely customizable, there are some tips and habits you can start implementing today that work for everyone. Discover!

Have a time to sleep and wake up

In order for your body to get used to the routine, you need to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including holidays and weekends. Soon, as bedtime approaches, your body already understands and starts sending signals that you need to slow down, improving the quality of your sleep.

Avoid electronics

If you’re the type of person who scrolls through social media and scrolls through your cell phone before bed, your sleep quality probably isn’t that good. The blue light emitted from electronic devices hinders the production of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone.

Therefore, at least 30 minutes before bed, avoid any electronics, such as television, tablets or cell phones.

Create a relaxing routine

Do something you enjoy before going to bed to send signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. It can be something more complete, like a self-care routine or more specific activities, like drinking tea or reading a book .

Avoid too much caffeine

Caffeine speeds up metabolism and its effects can last for more than 6 hours in the human body. Therefore, avoid any food or liquid that contains caffeine after lunch so that your body can relax faster.

Associate the bed with bedtime

Many people work or watch movies in bed. This can confuse your brain and cause it to associate bed with leisure activities. Therefore, it is important that you use your bed only for sleeping, so that the body understands that the object is for sleep.

Do physical exercise regularly

Practicing daily physical exercise can help improve sleep quality, as it increases endorphins and helps the body to become more tired during the day, regulating the circadian cycle.

Only go to bed when you are sleepy

Going to bed without feeling sleepy can give the brain a false perception that rest time is not that important, disassociating the thought of sleeping well with bed. Therefore, only lie down when you feel sleepy.

Sleep hygiene is extremely important so that you can have a more productive day and be able to enjoy your routine more without being so tired. Start making yours today!

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