What is good sleep hygiene?

Good sleep hygiene

People don’t often think about hygiene when discussing good sleep, but it is a major factor. In order to ensure a good night’s rest, a healthy routine needs to be in place. It is well documented that good sleep is linked to better physical and mental health, which means the opposite is true as well. No matter what someone’s age, good sleep hygiene and routine practices are necessary. 

So, why use the term hygiene? Are we talking about being clean while sleeping? Well, that’s part of it, but it’s more of a holistic concept around what is involved in going to sleep, sleeping, and waking up from sleep. Waking up well-rested is a sign of good sleep hygiene. Bad sleep hygiene is mentioned when someone doesn’t fall asleep easily, has trouble staying asleep, and subsequent daily fatigue. While sleeping is something that comes naturally to humans, it is something that needs to be assessed and exercised in order to attain maximum performance levels – just like working out.

Ways to improve sleep hygiene

Some people are better sleepers than others. Likely, those good sleepers already have good sleep hygiene in place with a healthy lifestyle, nightly routines, and managing any physical factors that may affect sleep. 

How do you know if you have good sleep hygiene? It’s a good idea to pay attention to your daily habits and take note of when you have bad nights of sleep. If you start to track what is consumed throughout the day, habits before bed, and how you feel the next day, it will be easy to analyze what is and what is not working. 

Daily habits that affect sleep hygiene 

How you spend your time throughout the day greatly affects how you sleep at night. Here are some pointers to ensure better sleep:

  • Minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Give yourself enough time before bed to digest dinner
  • Eat healthy foods and integrate daily exercise into your day
  • Make sure to get outside during the day for some fresh air 
  • Quit smoking

Healthy nightly routines 

If you’ve improved your habits throughout the day, there are things to do at night that can improve sleep.

  • Limit activity in the bed to mainly sleeping
  • Unplug from electronics and opt for a book instead
  • Dim lights and optimize space in your bedroom to induce a restful state
  • Wind down time should be a meditative state, not worrying about the next day
  • Keep a consistent routine

By changing small things in your larger routine, you can see great improvement in sleep hygiene. It will take some time to break habits and make new ones, but sleep is the most important thing you can do for optimal health. 

Is your sleep being disrupted due to ear, nose, and throat issues? Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute  

If changing your sleep routine to reach good sleep hygiene doesn’t seem to be working, there may be other issues that are keeping you awake at night. We can help diagnose and rule out many physical issues that may be affecting your sleep.