Unlocking the Power of Sleep Hygiene: Better Health with Better Rest

Good sleep is the master key to good health. 50-70 million Americans suffer from some kind of sleep disorder, and another third of adults fail to get adequate sleep on a regular basis. Poor sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression. 

 

When you unlock great sleep, you also improve mood, immunity, cognition, memory, productivity, cravings, metabolism, performance and resilience.  Sleep hygiene is an umbrella term that encompasses the routines, behaviors and ideas that promote good quality sleep. Take some time to consider your sleep needs, and begin to work through these one at a time until they become second nature. 

 

  1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule and Circadian Rhythm:
    • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
    • Get 10 minutes of morning daylight (yes, outside)  to set your circadian rhythm.
    • Do not sacrifice time for sleep to other activities
  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine:
    • Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
    • Dim the lights. Use amber and warm lights, some clients find replacing bulbs with red  or amber lights to be very effective. 
    • Avoid stimulating activities and screens an hour before bedtime.
  3. Optimize Your Sleep Environment:
    • Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark.
    • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
    • Limit noise and light disruptions with earplugs or blackout curtains.
    • No phones in the bedroom 
  4. Be Mindful of Diet and Exercise:
    • Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime.
    • While alcohol can lead to feeling sleepy, studies prove that it erodes sleep quality and quantity. Consider abstaining to improve sleep.
    • Incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, but avoid vigorous workouts too close to bedtime.
  5. Manage Stress and Anxiety:
    • Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation or progressive muscle relaxation.
    • Address underlying issues contributing to stress or anxiety through therapy or counseling if necessary.

 

Sleep Hygiene isn’t complicated, but it can be difficult to implement in the face of real life demands.  Your MedMatrix health coach can help you work with these and other sleep hacks to get the sleep you need and deserve!