Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is something most people will experience at some point in their lives. Those that have will be familiar with the frustration of it. However, some people experience abnormally severe problems with sleeping - known as insomnia. Poor sleep hygiene can play a vital role in preventing you from getting your forty winks, and by altering your nighttime habits and creating a better sleep environment, you may notice a significant difference in your quality of sleep.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder which affects up to 10-30% of adults worldwide. People with insomnia experience extreme difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or wake up often and are unable to fall back to sleep. Unsurprisingly, a constant lack of sleep can significantly impact quality of life, health, work performance, and above all can make you feel permanently exhausted.
Insomnia is often a result of poor sleep hygiene caused by bad sleeping habits. Your daily routine and practices which lead up to your bedtime can have a significant impact on your sleep. Although there is no cure for insomnia, by improving your sleep hygiene you are putting yourself in the best position to have a good night’s sleep.
However, as well as poor sleep hygiene, insomnia may also be caused by stress, disruptions to the body’s natural body clock, or eating too much late in the evening. It is important to understand what may be causing your insomnia, so that you can begin to address the problem.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep is essential for our everyday health and for our brains and body to function properly; so it is of utmost importance that we obtain enough sleep every night. Sleep hygiene refers to behaviors that you can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions. Practicing good sleep hygiene involves creating a comfortable bedroom environment, keeping a stable sleep schedule, practicing a relaxing pre-bedtime routine and building healthy daily habits that promote a good night’s sleep.
Improving sleep hygiene is known to help with insomnia and is now an important part of the public health strategy to beat insomnia in America.
How to create the best sleep environment
A key first step to combating poor sleep hygiene, is optimizing your sleep environment to instigate feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
Comfortable mattress and pillow: everyone has different preferences for comfort - whether that’s a feather pillow or a foam mattress. Make sure you are happy with yours and aren’t experiencing any discomfort.
Good bed sheets: There’s nothing worse than lying in scratchy bed sheets. Ensure you are using high quality bed sheets to avoid any irritations.
Cool comfortable temperature: Just like Goldilocks, you want to get the temperature just right. If you are either too hot or cold, you may wake throughout the night and struggle to get back to sleep.
Block out light: Make sure you have good curtains which block out light. When our eyes are exposed to a lack of light, our brain releases the hormone melatonin which tells our bodies it’s time to go to sleep. If your curtains aren’t doing the trick, try our eye mask which is comfy and blocks out all light.
Block out noise disturbances: Turn off TV’s and any other source of noise in your house. If you live in a noisy neighbourhood, try using ear plugs. Some people even find listening to meditative music can help them fall asleep.
Use calming scents: Spraying calming scents like our Pillow Spray or diffusing essential oils such as lavender can help promote feelings of calm and tranquility.
Regular sleep schedule: maintaining a regular bedtime and wake time can help set your own internal body clock, so that you get used to sleeping at the same time every day. As delicious as they are, it’s best to avoid napping, as this decreases the amount of sleep we need at night and causes sleep fragmentation.
Inadequate sleep can be extremely detrimental to our quality of life and mental health. If you are struggling with insomnia, assess whether you are practicing good sleep hygiene, as this plays such an important role in ensuring you have a good night’s sleep. By following these tips and making small adjustments to improve your bedroom environment, you may find your quality of sleep starts to improve.
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