SLEEP HYGIENE

Not that long ago, the phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” was used by the ambitious and hungry. Nobody says that anymore, and thankfully, sleep is finally getting the attention it deserves. You may be thinking you’ve got it handled, but let’s double-check!

Setting the Stage

Have the right environment.

Your bedroom should be comfortable, cool, quiet, and dark. If you’re a light sleeper and are bothered by noise, consider a white noise machine or earplugs to block out distractions. A sleeping mask paired with blackout curtains will also help to block out lights that may distract your mind and body from setting a regular sleeping pattern. 

Don’t underestimate your subconscious.

Only use your bedroom for sleep. If your brain associates that room with rest and relaxation, it will be much easier to fall asleep. Who needs a TV in a bedroom anyway?

Invest in a great mattress.

You will, ideally, spend at least one third of your life in bed - that is, one third of every day you’re alive. If anything is worth investing in, it’d be a mattress. 

During the Day

Get up at the same time everyday. 

This will help to “set” your body clock and create a chain of events that will send your body into “shut down” mode at the right time to get adequate sleep based on that wake time. 

Exercise.

As a general rule, strenuous and heavy exercise should not be done close to bedtime. While daily exercise is recommended, even as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day can dramatically increase sleep quality. 

Before Bed

Establish a routine. 

As with the recommendation to get up at the same time everyday, get into a routine of preparation. This may mean taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or doing some light stretching.

Put away your phone.

In an age of FOMO, we often feel the need to check our messages, and scroll through our social media feeds to see what everyone else is up to. Not only is this unhealthy, but distracting as it affects the body’s ability to get into a regular sleeping pattern. Turn off your WiFi and set your phone to Airplane Mode if incoming messages or calls may be a problem. 

A good night’s sleep may perhaps be the single most important thing you can do everyday to succeed. Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years or even decades. You can dramatically improve your sleep quality by making a few adjustments to your lifestyle and attitude.

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