Health and Fitness

Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?

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Nobody likes sleepless nights, periods of insomnia, or restlessness. We want to wake up feeling restored and well rested, ready to face each day with renewed energy. Unfortunately, many people don’t manage this and, in most cases, it is simply a result of poor sleep hygiene; the habits that they have fallen into before going to sleep. Luckily habits are easy to change so with simple tweaks to a bedtime routine everyone can start to feel the benefits of good sleep hygiene and great nights’ of undisturbed sleep.

Human bodies like routine, we all have a sleep/wake cycle hardwired into us and once we start changing the cycle we run the risk of affecting our physical and mental health. It is recommended that an adult sleeps for between 7 to 9 hours a night, in fact, sleep specialists recommend an optimum eight hours and ten minutes of sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in poor concentration, lack of productivity, low spirits and in severe cases will affect your physical health. To give yourself the best chance of getting the most restorative sleep, the habits and routines that make up good sleep hygiene are the best places to start.

The amount of hours you sleep is not the only important part of good sleep hygiene, the time you sleep is also key. Our bodies’ love of routine means that going to sleep at the same time every night and waking at the same time in the morning lets your body settle into a healthy sleep cycle. It is easy to slip into the habit of sleeping two different cycles; a weekday cycle and a weekend cycle. Going to bed late and sleeping in on the weekends actually has an adverse effect on your sleep cycle – remember your body loves routine. Fixing a reasonable bedtime and waking time that can be adhered to seven days a week, will ensure you fall into a regular sleep pattern, raising the quality of your sleep and resulting in waking up feeling well rested.

A lot of people also struggle with falling asleep which in itself can cause anxiety, putting stress on the mind and body. Changes to your bedtime routine can optimize your chances of falling asleep quickly and ultimately staying asleep. Make yourself a savvy sleeper by making key changes; cutting out caffeine five hours before going to sleep, eating small amounts of melatonin-rich food such as nuts or fruits before bedtime, turning off devices at least half an hour before sleep and keeping your room and mattress cool. Adopting these sleep hygiene habits will give your mind and body the best chance of letting it perform its natural function; restorative sleep.

Sleep is so important for the upkeep, healing, and repair of the human body and mind. In order to ensure the best, most natural sleep cycle good sleep hygiene is paramount. These habits can easily be adopted into regular night time routines, creating the best foundation for healthy, rejuvenating sleep.

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