You have inadvertently stumbled upon this site in the hope of improving yours or a loved ones sleeping habits and how to sleep properly, which could possibly be the best decision you could make. This website is dedicated to showing you how to sleep better and how to practice good sleep hygiene. Healthy sleeping habits can help increase productivity the next day, making you more alert and less depressed.
A common misconception is that improving your sleeping hygiene is solely to do with sleeping on time and for sufficient length. This is not always the case as it is not only the quantity of sleep that matters but also the quality of sleep you get during the night.
So who actually needs healthy sleeping habits and who will benefit the most from it? In one word, everybody. Obviously some people already have better sleeping hygiene than others in which case they would need less work but may not notice as much difference. The people that need it more would see results straight away.
With that in mind how exactly do you sleep effectively to maintain quality sleeping patterns? This site focuses on the ins and outs of this topic and highlights selected methods for different age groups such as good sleeping habits in babies, teenagers and adult sleeping habits.
Firstly we’ll talk about the anatomy of sleeping habits. There are two broad types of sleeping, REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement). To gain a fundamental understanding of how to sleep well, we will need to at least know the basics of these two areas of sleeping.
REM sleep is named accordingly because this is the period where your eyes move rapidly. Because this is all a fairly modern area of science, things we know for certain is that REM sleep gives the most vivid and memorable dreams.
There are three main stages to non rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Stage 1 normally happens when you first fall asleep, this is normally described as the transition between being awake and asleep. In stage 2, you are asleep but can be awakened quite lightly. The last stage is the deep sleep stage, some dreaming happens at this stage but is still not as likely as in the REM stage.
You can learn more about this on Wikipedia at this link.
Now that we know the fundamental basics of sleep, we can start to decide what techniques and methods we can use to make the most of our nights and practice good sleeping habits.
Now I’ve gone on a lot about the importance of good sleeping habits but what exactly is it? It is the process of getting the body psychologically ready to go to bed, it is also the process of giving the body the optimum physical condition to allow the brain to rest. Although there are medications and artificial solutions to regulate these two factors, these only give a short term relief of insomnia and ineffective sleep. To tackle the problem in the long run, we will need to consistently practice good sleeping habits and use natural methods which are more effective and healthier.
I’ll now put into context exactly what I mean.
As I previously explained, sleeping habits is so important if you want to perform at work and generally carry out your life in the most efficient way possible.
I’ve already explained most of the benefits above, but what exactly are these good sleeping habits that we should be practicing. This post lists the top 10 healthy sleeping habits you can use to help you sleep better, and reduce the chance of developing sleeping disorders.
- The first and possibly most important healthy sleeping habit is to keep a regular schedule for sleeping and waking up. This is because humans and many other animals have developed something called a circadian rhythm which is basically a sleeping pattern closely related to the day-night / light-dark cycle. By maintaining this sleep habit, it can support the circadian rhythm which will be extremely beneficial when trying to find out how to sleep properly.
- As well as keeping to a regular sleeping and waking schedule, it is also good sleep hygiene to form a routine to do before you go to bed. This could include brushing your teeth, drinking some water, reading a few pages from a book etc. Notice how all of these activities aren’t very engaging on the brain so they help relax the mind, and therefore make falling asleep a lot easier. It is important that you are in a relaxed frame of mind before you sleep as this can reduce the chance of waking up in the middle of the night.
- Along the same lines of the previous sleep habits, you should set the right environment for yourself before you go to bed. One rule is that you shouldn’t expose yourself to bright light as this can change the sensitivity of the receptors in your eyes that could disrupt sleep and could cause sleeping problems. Noise should be kept to a minimum and the temperature of the room should be cool as a colder room is proven to help you regulate your body temperature better as you sleep.
- Getting the right mattress and pillow is also incredibly important when it comes to getting a good nights sleep. There really is no hard and fast rule as to which mattresses and pillows are best suited to you so you will have to find out yourself through trial and error. For great sleep hygiene, your bedding really needs to be top notch. Whats the point of practicing good sleeping habits when your bed is of poor quality?
- You should only use your bed for sleeping and making love. This helps associate your bed with sleeping, and helps you get to bed quicker. Doing anything else in bed such as work or surfing the internet can stop you from getting tired so this is definitely bad sleeping habits you should avoid.
- Your eating schedule should fit both your sleeping and waking times. This is as much a sleeping habit as it is an eating one. You should eat and drink well in advance (2-3 hours) of your bedtime as this helps your digestive system and reduces the chance of you wakening in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. This will also make you hungrier right when you wake up in the morning, and everyone knows how important breakfasts are.
- If you do have trouble falling asleep frequently, then you should consider exercising more as this drains your entire body of energy which can only be regained through sleep. By being physically tired, your body feels the need to rest to rebuild muscles etc. This is a great if you’re really stuck for ideas on how to sleep well.
- Never drink or eat anything with caffeine in it after around 4 as this can stop you from sleeping until early hours. This is a key sleeping habit that many people neglect when they are used to drinking multiple cups of caffeine drinks a day. Even if you do manage to get to sleep after drinking caffeine, the sleep you get will not be as effective and you may still feel tired in the morning (resulting in more caffeine!).
- If you’re a smoker, try to avoid smoking near bed time because nicotine is a stimulant, making your heart pump faster and stopping you from sleeping. This is not the biggest reason for quitting smoking, but should definitely contribute in your decision. Among other negative things, smoking before bed is a very bad sleeping habit to have.
- The last sleeping habit similar to number 9 is to avoid alcohol before you go to sleep. Alcohol can mess up your sleeping patterns and if you do sleep, there may be problems such as nightmares or unrestful sleeping.
If you practice these few sleeping habits, you will definitely feel a lot more refreshed in the mornings.