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10 basic principles for good sleep hygiene

10 basic principles for good sleep hygiene

December 3, 2022

Is it hard for you to sleep lately? Well, think about all the factors involved when sleeping peacefully at night: the pressure at work, the problems with your love relationship or having coffee after mid-afternoon, can be reasons that make it difficult for you to sleep well.

There is no doubt that, on occasion, controlling all the factors that influence the amount of sleep is complicated, but it is possible to adopt habits that allow you to sleep more and better. This is important for your health, but, in addition, it is also necessary to be lucid and focused during the day.

Sleep hygiene: what is it?

The sleep hygiene It is a set of practices that are necessary to sleep well. When we talk about falling asleep at night is not only a matter of quantity, but also of quality. How you sleep will influence your performance during the day, in your well-being and in your lucidity.

The difficulties to sleep are usually found in the daily routine: working hours, habits before going to bed, lifestyle, etc. Therefore, it is important that you understand that The goal of sleep hygiene is to lie down and wake up respecting a schedule throughout the week . It is also important that you spend time in bed, that is, neither less nor more. This can vary between individuals (may be 6, 7 or 8 hours) for different reasons, such as age.

The 10 tips to sleep better

The tips presented below they can help you optimize your night rest , so that your mental acuity does not suffer, keep your emotional balance and have an ideal level of energy during the day. So, pay attention, because these recommendations will positively affect your well-being.

1. Take care of the environment

Necessary create a suitable environment to rest and not interrupt sleep during the night , because environmental conditions will greatly affect the time of rest and the ability to fall asleep. To make the most of rest during the night, you need to sleep on a comfortable mattress, with a suitable pillow, and in a room where you are comfortable. At the time of falling asleep it is advisable that there is little light, little noise and a pleasant temperature. It is highly recommended to have the TV off.

Also, you must use the bed only to sleep. what do I want to say with that? Well, the bed should not be used for other things, for example, to play the console, to work with the computer or to eat. What you can do in bed is have sex, and, in addition, sex will allow you to sleep better : after reaching orgasm the body relaxes and favors the ability to sleep.

2. Follow a sleep ritual

If you have difficulty sleeping, you can try having a ritual before going to bed . For example, take a warm bath with some music to relax and then drink an infusion before going to bed.

It is also important that you are relaxed at the time of lying down. If you have just done an exciting activity, it is convenient to find that ideal state before going to sleep. Perform relaxation techniques It can be useful to calm you down and free yourself from the daily stresses.

3. Take care of your diet

Food can influence our sleep, since Both what and when we eat can affect our overall well-being and they can be a problem when going to bed. A balanced diet will always be beneficial for our body, but, in addition, it is also important to maintain a schedule regarding meals. Dinner should not be heavy, but neither should you go to sleep hungry because it can cause us to wake up during the night in search of food.

This is different from the Nighttime Dining Syndrome (NES), which may be caused by anxiety, depression or by a modification of endocrine patterns, among other reasons. If during the morning you present morning anorexia, that is, you practically do not eat; and during the rest of the day, until the night comes, you eat few calories, but after you stuff yourself with food, you must visit a specialist to treat this problem as soon as possible.

4. Do not take stimulants after mid afternoon

Coffee consumption is very widespread in our culture, but Caffeine stimulates the brain and interferes with sleep . Consuming it in the morning may be a good option, but coffee, tea or cola-cola should not be consumed after mid-afternoon, especially if you are sensitive to its effects.

It is important to note that, despite these indications, there are people who can consume products like coffee even before going to bed.Unfortunately, most of us may not be so lucky. Just in case, better do without the stimulants if we see that we do not conciliate the dream at all well.

5. Practice physical exercise

Exercising regularly helps people sleep better. Its beneficial effects, however, depend on the time of day in which the exercise is performed and the general physical state of the individual. Some experts warn that the exercise done in the morning does not affect the sleep at night, and even helps to sleep better, but if it takes place very close to bedtime and the intensity of exercise is high, it is likely to cause sleep disturbances .

After an intense training session the body takes up to four hours to fully recover: return to normal heart rate, recharge muscle energy stores, recover water balance and in general, return to a state of rest that allows us to correct rest. On the other hand, practicing little physical exercise and leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause insomnia.

6. Do not abuse your nap

There are many studies that seem to indicate that taking a nap after eating brings many benefits for health and mind. Therefore, napping will have a beneficial effect on your well-being and may increase your alertness, your concentration, your productivity, and will improve your memory and your ability to learn.

But to avoid napping affecting sleep patterns during the night and to avoid complications when falling asleep at night, It is preferable not to take a nap too late in the day . Ideally, a short nap, about 20 or 30 minutes maximum. If you have sleep problems at night, you may want to avoid napping for a while.

7. Try not to drink alcohol before going to sleep

Do not drink alcohol before sleeping, because although it will help you to fall asleep faster due to its depressive effect, it will alter the later phases of sleep and it will cause you to wake up during the night, preventing the necessary rest and reducing the quality of sleep.

8. If you can not fall asleep, get up

If at some time you can not get to sleep, get up and do an activity that induces you to sleep , such as performing a relaxation technique or reading a book. It is better not to stay in bed, it will increase your anxiety to watch the time pass. Do not make overtures in this period, as it could increase your level of vigil. It also prevents high lighting.

9. Lie down and always get up at the same time

Have a time to fall asleep and wake up will allow your body to start the processes that will trigger the dream in advance , in addition to helping you optimize the internal clock and, therefore, the quality of sleep. If the work schedule allows it, program your hours of sleep realistically to improve your quality of life.

It is not about having a strict schedule of sleep, but it is important that, for example, do not go to bed late at night if you start working early.

10. Clear your head

Stress, worry or anger over something that happened during the day can interrupt your sleep. If this happens to you, you should take some time away from the bed for self-reflection, this can help you find out what is happening to you and what you have to do to solve it .

If you can not stop worrying and you feel that you have lost control, you need to learn to manage your thoughts. For example, you should know that it is possible to evaluate your emotions and / or check how realistic your thoughts are. The Mindfulness can be of great help for the correct emotional management and self-knowledge, to improve your self-esteem and to adopt a positive attitude in front of the problematic situations that can appear in the day to day.

It may be the stress of work or college that makes your dream difficult. Learning to manage time can be effective to keep you calm and relaxed at night. The same you need to solve deeper issues, such as your self-esteem or your relationship. In these cases insomnia can be a symptom of a more serious problem .

Important: insomnia, sometimes, can be a symptom of a psychological disorder

Sleep hygiene is effective when different habits are performed at the same time. If you always sleep at the same time, but consume coffee at night, do not dine lightly and have a sedentary lifestyle, it is very likely that you will have difficulty sleeping.

This is interesting to prevent sleep disorders, but if the problem is already present, you may need to go to the psychologist. Insomnia, on occasion, is a symptom of some psychopathology such as depression or anxiety. In these cases, in addition to following the 10 tips for good sleep hygiene, it is also necessary to attend psychotherapy sessions.

It may interest you: "7 psychological signals that indicate that you are not getting enough sleep"

Sleep Hygiene (December 2022).

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