Sleep hygiene - what is it and how to improve it

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Sleeping better is on everyone’s 2021 to do list. It seems like mission impossible. But DOSE writer Demi has the expert tips to help you up your sleep hygiene game and get the shut-eye you deserve. From making sure your room is the right temperature to implementing a night-time routine, it’s a lot easier than you think…

What is sleep hygiene?

Humans are not sleeping the way nature intended. The duration of sleep, and when sleep occurs has all been comprehensively distorted by modernity says Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology and author of best-selling book Why We Sleep.

The Sleep Foundation explains that sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Having good sleep hygiene can ensure you’re getting the maximised amount of sleep, getting rid of those restless nights.

How to improve your sleep hygiene:

Create a zen den

Your bedroom should be for two things. Sleep and sex. Spending all day in your room will make it likely your mind associates your bedroom with other mind stimulating activities, thus disrupting your sleep patterns. Keep your distance from the bedroom and make it as relaxing as possible with these tips:

Noise – No noise or noise is the debate that disrupts many partners in the bedroom. When it comes to sleep hygiene if you do choose the sound route, make sure it’s consistent. A good example is bath sounds or nature sounds. But TV or a whirring laptop, won’t make falling asleep any easier.

Light (or lack of) is key – The light in your bedroom for the 30-60 minutes before you shut your eyes should be dim and low. It’s basically prep for our mind and body to shut down and is a key element of sleep hygiene. If you struggle with drifting off to sleep, the DoDow  sleep aid device should help to do the trick. This discreet gadget sits on your bedside table and emits a calming blue light onto the ceiling that slowly shrinks and grows, allowing your mind to drift off to sleep.

DoDow Sleep device
DoDow Sleep device

The ideal temperature – Part of sleep hygiene is getting your room temperature just right. The ideal temperature for adults to sleep in is 15 to 19 degrees. Sleep.org explains that when lying in bed trying to snooze, your body temperature decreases to initiate sleep and the ideal temperatures can actually help facilitate this. If your room is cool, rather than warm, it will be much easier to shut your eyes for the night.

Pillow spray – If you struggle with waking during the night, or are a restless sleeper, try this sleep pillow spray. Use at bedtime to help you fall asleep faster, reduce sleep anxiety and improve sleep quality. Give your pyjamas a light spritz too before sinking into bed and the rest will follow.

ThisWorks pillow spray
ThisWorks pillow spray

A night routine made for sleep

A key to sleep hygiene is having the ultimate night-time routine. Creating a routine will help your body recognise that it’s time to relax. Start your routine 30 to 60 minutes before bed. It can include things like reading, meditation or a warm bath.

One of my favourite things to do before bed is my night-time skin routine. The perfect solo activity. I feel my best when my skins feels my best and if you agree, you’d love the Clarins relaxing sleep mask. Super soothing, this plant-based overnight face mask is made to detox and hydrate. Just before you hit the pillow, apply the mask evenly on your face and neck (make sure your skin is clean). Whilst you sleep the mask gives your complexion the ultimate boost.

Clarins sleep mask
Clarins sleep mask

Switch it off!

It can be hard to disconnect from your phone or laptop before bed. But to increase your sleep hygiene, turning off technology is key! Give yourself at least 30 minutes blue light free before bed. The blue lights from electronics can decrease the amount of  melatonin (the hormone that makes you tired) your body produces. This can keep you awake for much longer and make it difficult for you to fall asleep when you hit the pillow.

Sleep hygiene includes many factors. But focusing on a few of these will make a huge difference to your sleep hygiene and sleep!

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about sleep hygiene check out our other DOSE articles – Insomnia 101 and Why you might be getting more headaches right now.

By Demi

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