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8 Sleep hygiene tips for a better you

Diets and exercise have been at the centre of the fitness and wellbeing paradigm for the last few decades. Sleep has always been acknowledged as having beneficial effects, but ever-increasing busy lifestyles have been getting in the way. In recent times the term “sleep hygiene” has been passed around but what does it mean and how can it help the quality of our sleep. Below is a reminder list of some of the many benefits of a good night’s sleep.

  • Reduced stress

  • Improved memory

  • Impact on weight gain

  • Feeling energized and alert

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Better coping ability

  • Recovery of cells

What is sleep hygiene?

The term “sleep hygiene” refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Here are some ways to maintain sleep hygiene.

*We have compiled the following tips from our own experiences based on the guidance by official and reliables sources like Sleep foundation organisation, CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) and Habit Rehabilitation.

  1. Turn your bedroom into a sleep-inducing environment. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature. 

  2. Use your bed only for sleep.

  3. Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack. Reduce your fluid intake too before bedtime.

  4. Turn off electronic devices at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

5. Establish a soothing pre-sleep routine: Ease the transition from wake time to sleep time with a period of relaxing activities an hour or so before bed. Take a bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, watch television, or practise relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities—doing work, discussing emotional issues. Physically and psychologically stressful activities can cause the body to secrete the stress hormones which is associated with increasing alertness. If you tend to take your problems to bed, try writing them down—and then putting them aside.

6. Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.  Make your bed space just for sleeping and relaxing.

7. If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed. 

8. Exercise regularly to promote good quality sleep. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.  For the best night’s sleep, one should avoid strenuous workouts close to bedtime. However, the effect of intense nighttime exercise on sleep differs from person to person, so find out what works best for you.  

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