Sleep Hygiene- The Not-So-Secret Weapon for Your Beauty Sleep
Updated: Sep 11
By Christina Seibold, MS, CNS
Hey there, sleepyheads and nocturnal ninjas! Are you tired of tossing and turning like a caffeinated squirrel on a wheel? Fear not, for we have a secret weapon to unlock the realm of blissful slumber—sleep hygiene! Yes, it sounds fancy, but it's just a fancy way of saying "habits that help you sleep like a baby." So, buckle up your pajama pants and let's dive into the whimsical world of sleep hygiene!
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is the magical potion that transforms your sleep into a majestic slumber extravaganza. It's all about adopting habits and creating an enchanting sleep environment to woo the Sandman and unleash the power of rejuvenating rest. Consider it your personal quest to build a fortress of pillows and embrace the sleep gods' blessings!
Ways to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene:
Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Embrace the power of routine by setting a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) helps regulate your body clock and trains it to drift into dreamland effortlessly (1). You'll become a master of slumber, conquering the land of dreams with the grace of a sleep ninja!
Create a Sleep Sanctuary
Transform your bedroom into a haven of tranquility. Dim the lights, summon the softest sheets and fluffiest pillows, and banish all distractions (2). Your sleep sanctuary should be a sacred space where worries fade away and relaxation reigns supreme. Trust us; it'll be harder for your restless thoughts to invade your dream kingdom!
Unwind Like a Pro
Bid adieu to the hustle and bustle of the day by indulging in relaxing rituals before bed. Read a book, take a warm bath, practice mindfulness, or engage in other calming activities (3). These rituals help your mind and body wind down, preparing you for the epic voyage into the realm of dreams. Say goodbye to stress and hello to serenity!
Ditch the After-Dinner Drink or Night Cap
As tempting as that second glass of wine or whiskey before bed is, alcohol is a serious sleep disruptor! It suppresses the REM stage of sleep, increases the chance of waking during sleep, and increases nighttime urination. Who wants that?
Beware of Caffeine and Nicotine Dragons
We all love a good cup of Joe or a puff of dragon smoke, but consuming caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime can turn your sleep adventure into a wide-eyed nightmare. These sneaky stimulants can disrupt your precious slumber by keeping your mind buzzing (4). Tame the dragons and bid them farewell before the sun sets!
Embrace the Magic of Movement
Get your body moving like a sleep wizard! Regular exercise not only keeps you healthy and energized but also enhances the quality of your sleep. Engage in physical activities during the day, but avoid intense workouts right before bed as they can leave you feeling wired instead of tired (5). Dance, walk, or channel your inner superhero—the choice is yours!
What Not to Do If You Want to Sleep Better
The Snooze Button Trap
Beware, dear sleep adventurers, for the snooze button is a cunning foe! Hitting snooze multiple times may seem like a tantalizing dance with extra sleep, but alas, it's a false promise. Each time you snooze, you disrupt your sleep cycle, making it harder to rise and shine (6). Take a leap of bravery, banish the snooze button, and seize the day!
Technology's Dark Spell
Beware the enchanting glow of screens before bedtime! The blue light emitted by your devices can bewitch your brain and suppress the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin (3). Resist the urge to scroll through social media or binge-watch your favorite series. Instead, opt for a magical book or soothing music to lull you into dreamland.
Counting worries, not sheep, will lead you down a rabbit hole of restless nights. Before tucking yourself in, take a moment to release those swirling thoughts. Jot them down in a journal by your bedside, freeing your mind from their clutches (7). It's time to leave your worries at the door and enter the land of dreams with a light heart!
Congratulations, sleep adventurers! You now possess the keys to unlock the mystical realm of sleep hygiene. Embrace these tips, build your pillow fortress, and let the magic of sleep transport you to a world of tranquility and restoration. Remember, with the power of sleep hygiene, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world, one dream at a time!
National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Healthy Sleep Tips. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips
Mayo Clinic. (2021). Sleep hygiene: Tips for better sleep. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep-hygiene/art-20048379
Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). Blue light has a dark side. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195–1200. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3170
National Sleep Foundation. (2021). Exercise and Sleep. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-does-exercise-affect-sleep
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. (n.d.). The snooze button: Why is hitting snooze bad for sleep? https://aasm.org/the-snooze-button-why-is-hitting-snooze-bad-for-sleep/
Journal of Experimental Psychology. (2017). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000274
Disclaimer: Information in this article is for educational or information purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals. Elevate Functional Nutrition LLC does not offer medical advice and assumes no responsibility or liability for the information contained in this post. Always consult a medical professional or other qualified health care provider for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.