Key points summary.
(Be sure to read the article. You will learn techniques for each point).
- Regularize your schedule
- Prepare the environment where you will sleep
- Limit stimulants
- Avoid sleeping after hours
- Eat lightly before going to sleep
- Turn off screens
- Engage in physical activity away from bedtime
- Establish a relaxation and breathing routine
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It is essential to consider the environmental, physical, and mental conditions that are part of your sleep hygiene at bedtime. It’s not about cleaning your room or body but about purifying that moment in all aspects. We show you how to achieve good sleep hygiene with small, healthy habits.
How is your bedtime routine? Are you taking care of your health with actions promoting restful rest for your body and mind? We guide you to find those steps you need to take care of yourself as you deserve and to incorporate small habits that can change the quality of your sleep.
What is sleep hygiene, and why is it important to take care of it?
Sleep hygiene is a trending topic in medicine and psychology because of its direct relationship between good rest and general human health, cognition, and longevity. Sleep hygiene measures are beneficial actions to prepare the body for proper rest.
Thirty percent of people suffer from sleep disorders (WHO, 2021), with insomnia being the most frequent among adults. Many studies analyze the incidence of standard practices, which seem harmless, in the appearance of disorders associated with poor rest, added to daytime tiredness and physiological problems.
The primary way to find sound sleep hygiene lies in the ability to develop habits to sleep well and avoid conditions that affect the quality of the hours of rest. The best part is that you need small actions to make a big difference; it will also fill you with well-being from the beginning.
The 8 Powerful Habits to Improve Sleep Hygiene
The body needs to have enough rest hours to recover from daily activity. Insufficient sleep, significantly prolonged, leads to the appearance or deepening of other associated problems. Starting by taking care of your hours and sleep quality is a differential in your health.
Here, we share with you the care you should take to prepare your body for a good night’s rest and avoid insomnia. And the best thing is that these are actions that, with practice, will become an irreplaceable part of your nightly routines. Incorporate these habits to sleep better, allowing you to have a balanced life and enjoy much more during the day.
1. Regularize the times you go to sleep.
The first step to start your sleep hygiene habits is planning. Schedules are fundamental to establishing healthy and sustained routines over time. Generate fixed schedules to ensure the necessary rest while increasing the quality of those hours.
They should be the same every day and not vary too much on weekends, as this can lead to sleep disorders during the week. A practical recommendation is that just as you set an alarm to wake you up, put your cell phone to remind you of bedtime.
2. Prepare the environment.
Bedtime should be a ritual moment in your life. Think of it as the irreplaceable moment of spiritual repair and strengthening that it is. The space in which you sleep is your temple, and it should be welcoming to promote a healthy rest. Some ideal elements may be:
- Keep the room tidy, clean, and dark at night.
- Use comfortable clothes intended only for sleeping.
- Set the perfect temperature in the room.
- Use essential oils diffusers such as lavender or other scents that may help with body relaxation.
- Limit disruptive sounds and excessive visual stimuli. Instead, we recommend listening to music with Delta and Theta waves to help you fall asleep during the night.
You should identify the best conditions to help you fall asleep more easily. Know yourself and prepare the environment beforehand so you arrive at bedtime with the room ready for rest. If you have a partner, you must discuss beneficial conditions for both of you.
3. Avoid and limit stimulants.
As you prepare the room, you should prepare the body for sleep. Adult sleep hygiene is fragile, and some everyday cultural habits before bedtime may impair it. Filling the body with stimulants is a grave mistake that people commonly overlook.
Consuming caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine before bedtime dramatically affects sleep quality. Do not consume these substances in the hours before your sleep schedule, and try to cleanse your system with plenty of water and natural foods. Avoid stimulants if possible.
4. Avoid sleeping out of schedule.
It is essential to respect schedules to accustom the body to maintain a sufficient sleep cycle for recovery. A nap in the afternoon can be very tempting, especially on tiring days.
However, you must avoid getting too close to your nighttime sleeping hours, as it will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Take a short nap during the day to complement your night’s rest, but not too close to your sleep schedule.
5. Eat light before bedtime.
When we go to bed with a full stomach, digestion slows down and demands more energy. It can lead to discomfort and difficulty falling asleep, as the body is digesting food rather than relaxing and repairing tissues during rest.
Heavy, high-fat foods before bedtime can increase the risk of heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux. In addition, overeating at night can alter circadian rhythm and metabolism, which may contribute to the development of obesity and other metabolic disorders.
Sleep quality is closely related to melatonin production, the hormone regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Some foods, such as those rich in tryptophan (e.g., some fruits, nuts, and seeds), can promote melatonin production and more restful sleep.
Therefore, eating light before bedtime induces better sleep by facilitating digestion, preventing stomach upset, maintaining a healthy weight, and promoting melatonin production. These sleep hygiene practices are scientifically based and can contribute significantly to optimal and restful sleep.
If you are hungry before bedtime, we recommend eating a banana. Bananas are rich in tryptophan and contain vitamin B6, essential for serotonin production, a neurotransmitter associated with sleep and mood regulation.
6. Turn the screens off.
The blue light emitted by electronic devices impedes the production of melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone. Even blue light filter functions do not guarantee its attenuation. Turning off the screens at least one hour before bedtime is essential for the hormone to act and trigger sleep.
Modern cell phones have functionalities to regulate their use during the night and to avoid notifications (unless they are urgent). Take advantage of these features to maintain good sleep hygiene.
7. Do physical activity away from bedtime.
Physical activity during the day brings endless benefits to the body and is necessary to reach the night with a resting desire. However, it is not advisable to do it a few hours before sleep since it generates cardiac, respiratory, and nervous frequencies that are not optimal for rest.
When we exercise, our body experiences an increase in heart rate, respiration, and activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. These physiological changes are beneficial during the day, as they keep us alert, improve concentration, and promote calorie burning. However, if we perform intense exercise very close to bedtime, these effects can interfere with sleep quality.
Several studies have shown that exercise before bedtime can disrupt the circadian rhythm, delaying falling asleep. In addition, strenuous exercise can raise body temperature, making the transition to sleep more difficult, as the body needs to cool down to initiate falling asleep.
It is important to note that not all forms of exercise have the same impact on sleep. Moderate physical activity, such as walking or gentle yoga, can promote sleep, especially if done at least an hour before bedtime. These forms of exercise help reduce stress, relax the body and mind, and prepare for rest.
8. Establish a relaxation and breathing routine.
Finally, healthy sleep hygiene involves a time of relaxation and conscious breathing that promotes whole rest. Time to relieve stress, push worries away, and connect with our body is essential to quality rest.
Conscious breathing techniques help prepare the body and mind for sleep and promote hormone production. Accompanying these routines with Aloharmony’s breathing and rest frequencies will allow you to acquire these habits and help you fall asleep much better and achieve the necessary repair.
Sleep hygiene is essential to ensure restful sleep and maintain a state of general well-being. The habits we have mentioned above: regularizing sleep schedules, preparing the right environment, limiting stimulants, avoiding sleeping after hours, eating light meals before bedtime, turning off screens, engaging in physical activity away from bedtime, and establishing a relaxation and breathing routine, are fundamental to improving sleep quality.
However, adopting and maintaining these habits can be challenging for some people. In these cases, Aloharmony can be of great help. Aloharmony is an application that combines therapeutic music, breathing techniques, and guided meditations to facilitate sleep reconciliation and improve the quality of rest. The sound frequencies in Aloharmony have been developed based on scientific research on the influence of breathing and auditory stimuli on sleep and relaxation.
By using Aloharmony, you can easily incorporate a relaxation and breathing routine into your sleep hygiene. The app will guide you through breathing techniques that calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep. In addition, the soothing sounds provided by Aloharmony will create an environment conducive to falling asleep and improve the quality of your rest.
Remember to consider the power of good sleep hygiene and healthy sleep habits. With the help of tools like Aloharmony, you can facilitate the generation of good sleep hygiene habits and enjoy the benefits of restful rest. Take advantage of the opportunity to improve your quality of life through healthy sleep.