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8 Simple Steps To Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene represents one of the most important aspects of your health.

Did you know that sleep deprivation can impair your immune system, lower your cognitive abilities, and increase anxiety? Who knew losing sleep could wreak such havoc on our bodies!

The good news is that improving your sleep hygiene can help turn these negative effects around! Read on for 8 steps to improve your sleep hygiene in order to get the restful night’s rest you deserve.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

We see the word hygiene and think of body odor and gum disease, right? So, what exactly is sleep hygiene? And how do we know if it’s good or bad?

Simply put, sleep hygiene means creating a sleep-friendly environment. This means taking care of your bedroom, using it for sleep only, and adhering to a few basic rules.

What is A Sleep-Friendly Environment?

A sleep-friendly environment has three main components: dark, cool, and quiet! If you’re exposing yourself to any light while sleeping (aka your phone screen), it’s likely your room isn’t completely blacked out.

And if there are disruptions in the room, like a heater or noise from outside, you won’t be able to get the best sleep. Your room needs to have darkness and quiet for your body clock to wind down at night!

How Can I Create A Sleep-Friendly Environment?

It’s easy! You can make a few small changes, such as:

  • Shutting your bedroom door.
  • Using a fan or white noise machine to block out outside noises.
  • Turning off your phone at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

What Can I Do If My Sleep Friendly Environment Isn’t Working?

Do you have trouble falling asleep because of stress or anxiety? Do you wake up frequently during the night? These are signs that your sleep hygiene may need a little work.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, try practicing mindfulness techniques before bedtime to help calm your mind and body down for the night. Also, be sure to give yourself at least 20 minutes of relaxation time to wind down from a busy day!

Steps To Improve Your Sleep Hygiene:

  1. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption at least six hours before bed.
  2. Create a relaxing environment that is dark, quiet, and cool to promote optimal sleep quality.
  3. Exercise during the day but not too close to bedtime as this can actually have stimulating effects on your body.
  4. Don’t eat heavy meals right before bed; if you do, focus on foods that are high in tryptophan (i.e., eggs) which can help promote sleepiness while avoiding sugary and starchy carbs like pasta or bagels because these will simply leave you feeling more awake after eating them.
  5. Limit your screen time (TV, laptops) at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  6. Be sure to give yourself 20 minutes of relaxation time before bed.
  7. Remember to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing or meditation to calm your mind and body down for the night.
  8. If the above steps aren’t enough, your doctor may recommend taking melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep) or practicing cognitive behavioral therapy.

Remember that every person is different so not all of these suggestions will work for everyone. Only take what works for you and your body to get the restful night’s sleep you deserve!

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Which Sleep Style is Right for You?

Sleep Style

Have you ever wondered what your sleep style says about you?

Sleep often determines the quality of your physical and mental health. It also affects how you feel, which can affect your mood the next day. There are many different sleep styles to choose from, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you.!

So, if you’re feeling sleepy, here are some common sleep styles.

Why Do People Sleep on Their Back?

Sleeping on your back is linked with a lower risk of heart disease. People tend to sleep on their back because it’s a comfortable position, but it is also linked with an increased risk of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

Some people may not be able to get good sleep this way because their airways are obstructed during the night. If you suffer from sleep apnea or find yourself snoring, consider sleeping on your side instead.

Why Do People Sleep on Their Stomach?

Fun fact: people who sleep on their stomachs are more likely to be extroverts. This may be because they’re out-going and like meeting new people, or it might just be that this is the most comfortable position for them!

This sleep style can make snoring an issue due to the position of the tongue and airway. Some people sleep on their stomach to feel secure, which is totally fine if it helps them get a better night’s sleep.

Why Do People Sleep On Their Sides?

People who sleep on their sides tend to be more social and outgoing. They may also be less likely to snore than people who sleep on their backs or stomachs because this position makes it harder for your airways to collapse, so you can get a good night’s rest!

What’s the Best Sleeping Position for Me?

The best sleeping position for you is the one that makes you feel rested in the morning!

There are many different sleep styles to choose from, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you. Proper sleep hygiene looks different for everyone, and it’s important to take your own sleep preferences into account when making changes.

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How to Choose a Pillow: Your Sleep Style

how to choose a pillow

A good night’s sleep makes all the difference. That’s why figuring out how to choose a pillow can become one of the most important decisions you’ll make.

A bed with old, saggy pillows won’t allow you to fall asleep comfortably and will lead to a restless night of tossing and turning. If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep problems, it may be time to get a new pillow that suits your individual needs.

How to Choose a Pillow

Pillows come in many different types, each one suited for a particular sleep style. If you’re a back sleeper, for instance, it’s best to choose a medium-firm pillow that will support your neck throughout the night. On the other hand, those who prefer sleeping on their stomachs should invest in soft or firm pillows that cradle their head while allowing sufficient airflow.

If you have a partner, consider buying two different kinds of pillows for yourself and let your sleeping companion choose the one they prefer. After all, no person is an island! Many couples sleep with separate pillows because each person has different needs when it comes to getting restful slumber.

Finally, if you suffer from allergies or asthma, choose a hypoallergenic pillow that won’t irritate your respiratory system. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recommends choosing one made with synthetic materials like polyester and cotton over down-filled pillows.

How Long Can I Use the Same Pillow?

As a general rule, you should replace your pillow at least once every year. If it begins to show signs of wear and tear such as flattening, sagging or fiber migration, then it’s time for a new one!

However, if you’re using the right type of pillow for your sleep style, it should only take about three months before you notice signs of wear. Prolonged sleep on a worn pillow can lead to muscle strain, stiff necks and even headaches.

When it comes time to invest in a new pillow, choose one that suits your individual needs. A good night’s sleep begins with the right support!

How to Keep Your Pillow Clean and Pest-Free

Cleaning pillows isn’t difficult. They only need regular washing like any other bedding. Start by removing the pillowcase and washing it in a standard or gentle cycle on cold water. Then, place your pillows into the dryer with three to five clean tennis balls for 20 minutes on low heat. Tennis balls help fluff up your pillows as they’re drying!

While many people choose not to wash their pillows very often, you can keep them fresh by placing an open fabric softener sheet inside the pillowcase before replacing it on your bed. You’ll never have to worry about that unpleasant musty smell again!

Start Enjoying Your Sleep Again

Sleep remains important for your health and productivity. Finding the right pillow can seem like more of a chore than what it’s worth, but the benefits outweigh the effort.

Without proper sleep, you can’t function at your best. That’s why choosing a pillow should be carefully thought out to make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, it may be time for an upgrade. You’ll be glad you did!