What is sleep hygiene?
Why does it matter?
Sleep hygiene is the series of routines, habits, and behaviors you partake in relation to your sleep. Unknowingly or not, each of us has our own rituals and behaviors which may impact our overall feeling of rest. Things like a 3 pm cup of coffee or sleeping in on the weekend to ‘catch up’ on sleep are examples of undesirable sleep hygiene behaviors.
Sleep hygiene is important because it can either improve or reduce the quality of sleep you are getting. A few simple tweaks can really improve the amount of sleep you are able to get – whether that is 6 hours or 9 hours.
This list is a holistic approach to improving your nighttime habits and is not a simple one-step solution.
You would think as a CBD company we would list CBD as a sleep aid, but we believe it’s more important to live a wellness lifestyle as opposed to simply adding and relying on a supplement to help you sleep. A ‘supplement’ is just that – a supplement to an already healthy lifestyle!
Develop a nighttime wind down routine
This can include:
- An Epsom salt bath
- Stretching or yoga
- Reading a book
Engaging in this series of behaviors will gradually signal to your body you are getting ready to go to sleep – and these behaviors will also aid in relaxing your mind and body.
Block out all light and noise
Darkness acts as a signal to your body it needs to prepare for sleep. If you aren’t able to completely control your circumstances, then things like a sleep mask and earplugs will ensure that you are able to block out as much light and noise as possible.
Alternatively, blackout curtains make a huge difference; also using masking tape to cover any small lights on chargers and cords.
Use a filter on all electronics
Blue light from electronics can mimic sunlight and throw off our body’s natural circadian rhythm. These kinds of devices can trick our bodies into thinking it is still light outside and we should, therefore, stay awake. Apps like f.lux can be installed to block out the high frequency wavelengths that may interfere with sleep.
Be mindful of the temperature in the room
The ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit or 15-19 degrees Celcius. Keeping the room dark will aid in maintaining a cooler temperature. A fan can be positioned near the bed as well.
Move your body throughout the day
Being active throughout the day is beneficial for many reasons. Getting your heart rate up during the day may actually increase the length and quality of your sleep. In fact, as little as 10 minutes of walking or cycling on a daily basis is enough to reap these benefits when done on a consistent basis.
Aim to fall asleep and wake up at a similar time each day
Waking up at a similar time will help strengthen your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Our bodies are designed to rise with the sun and sleep when it goes down – and sleeping in on weekends can throw this rhythm off.
Likewise, the same goes for falling asleep at a similar time. You will find falling asleep will get easier as your body gets used to its new routine.
Write down a to-do list
If you find it hard to fall asleep at night because your mind is racing with all the things you need to finish tomorrow, take a minute to jot your thoughts down. Having a journal or some place to keep your thoughts is helpful because you won’t have to stress or worry about forgetting something. All of those thoughts will be waiting for you in the morning!
Stop caffeine at 12 pm
Our bodies are designed to have peak energy after waking up in the morning. Then energy should gradually drop throughout the day, ending in sleep at night. A stimulant like caffeine will cause an unnatural spike when consumed in the afternoon. This may lead to a crash later in the day. Coffee and other stimulants are best when consumed in the first 30 minutes of waking up – when our bodies should be producing peak cortisol for the day!
Try to limit other substances like alcohol or chocolate to 4 hours before bedtime if possible.
Worst case...use a supplement
Once again, a supplement is just that – an extra bonus to an already healthy lifestyle. If you are really struggling to fall asleep at night, melatonin or CBD oil can help get your body ready for sleep.
Of course, the goal is to be able to fall asleep without these products. However, they can be particularly useful in the beginning when trying to get your body’s rhythm back on track.