We typically associate hygiene with smelling good & maintaining a certain level of cleanliness of our body. What if I told you your hygiene does not stop there? You wake up dead tired even though you went to bed at a decent time, or your sleep schedule is all over the place & in utter chaos.

Imagine how you would feel on a day-to-day basis if you could wake up & not be groggy. In both pillars of physical & mental health, a good night’s rest could be the difference between feeling on top of the world & being meh.

You might be wondering what sleep hygiene actually is since I didn’t really explain it well up there, essentially it’s the behaviors & habits you use to fall asleep & remain asleep, so you can enjoy the benefits of uninterrupted sleep!

So, let’s talk about some of the best hygienic sleep practices we can all adopt to feel rejuvenated the next day!

 

Do not stay in bed in the A.M:

We’re going to take an unorthodox approach here & look at a spot where the problem arises, in a place where you would not even think it would arise. After you already have slept the night before. Do not stay in bed for those extra five minutes. I had a good streak going of getting out of bed as soon as I opened my eyes these last few weeks! Till this morning… I relapsed. I paid dearly, even now I am still a little sluggish. So, believe me, when I say I understand how hard it is to cultivate this new habit, it is not your fault that beds hit that nice.  The worst part is that it is tough to realize the impact it has on you if you are in the routine of “sticking around!” According to Matthew Walker, the author of ‘Why We Sleep’, and Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, “If you lie awake in bed, your brain links being awake to being in bed.”

If your brain associates being awake in your bed, then you may have trouble falling asleep which leads to a groggier morning! Now do not think this means you have to spring into action the second you open your eyes; I promise I was only paraphrasing there. This means to simply open your eyes, take a moment to adjust then maybe walk to the bathroom & wash your face or brush your teeth. Whatever that may be that works for you!

As a result, over time your brain starts to disassociate your bed with being awake & you will spend less time at night tossing & turning.

Control your environment:

This one might be particularly subjective to personal preferences although this one works incredibly well for me. Creating an environment in your bedroom to match the ambiance of sleep. Look around online for pictures of bedrooms that make you go “man I could nap the hell out of that” & recreate it in your own style to fit your personality. Buy a candle, order some plants, grab some comfortable sheets. Create your haven of rest & start treating yourself like a king or queen when it comes to your beauty rest. Fostering an environment in your room of congruency with sleep will lessen the distractions you face while trying a good night’s rest as well.

Take care of your internal environment too! Start meditating, making a slow effort to eat healthier & cut off caffeine before noon.

 

Dedicate time for winding down:

Once your environment is tailored to your comfort, we must tackle the next hurdle to getting to a solid sleep. The time it takes for you to be put in a state of calm before you can finally drift off to go to sleep. We’re going to try & learn how to stimulate the melatonin hormone (the sleep hormone) so you can start falling asleep way easier. Soft music helps as well as dimming your lights, bright light hinders your body’s ability to produce that melatonin hormone. So, you are going to have to start turning to other things other than your phone or laptop.

If that’s just absolutely not an option for you, you can get blue light glasses as well as change your computer’s screen setting to emit a warmer light rather than the blue light it usually has coming off.

 

Things to keep in mind:

Sleep hygiene is not going to be the same for everyone, some people are going to require applying more tweaks than others. Optimizing your environment & your habits is a start. Although while on your search for the perfect sleep formula, do not feel compelled to follow guides like these to a T. Create your own formula by learning what has worked for other people & then combining it with habits & practices that work for you! It’s worth testing out different adjustments & not expect one giant step will happen right away towards a consistently blissful sleep. Explore & make the incremental tiny steps to get that much closer to our natural state of waking up with radiant energy & carrying on the rest of our day with radiant energy!