When people think of hygiene, they often associate it with brushing their teeth, taking a shower, or washing their clothes. However, the term is more appropriately used to describe healthiness and the decisions that influence it. That means how much sleep you get every night is more important than how often you clean your sheets in terms of impacting your overall hygiene. The habits we perform (or fail to perform) every day affect how efficiently our bodies work. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, your performance at the gym or at the office is likely to suffer. Likewise if you don’t bathe regularly, it makes you more vulnerable to diseases and infection.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of good sleep habits that will help keep your hygiene in the green. Many sleep habits vary from person to person, but if you’re currently having any trouble sleeping, consider giving some of these ideas a try.
Consistency is key.
The amount of sleep you should be getting every night may vary (usually between 7-9 hours). Once you determine what that number is for you, make sure you’re getting it every night. Circumstances often prevent ideal sleep hours, but making sleep a priority will greatly improve the rest of your day in numerous ways. Not only is it good to get the same amount of sleep every night, it’s smart to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Once your body clock gets used to a certain schedule, sticking to it will make it easier to fall asleep and wake up. Plus, it will improve your overall sleep quality.
Sleep in a quiet, dark environment.
That means falling asleep while watching television is not ideal. The same goes for your smartphone. Lying in bed checking social media can lead to angst in bed and may trigger your mind at the first sign of alert boredom when you can’t fall asleep immediately. Complete darkness is largely considered to be the best way to sleep. Of course, that’s not always feasible and for some it’s not preferable. If you’re in that boat, go for red light instead of blue. White noise might also be a good idea, but beyond that you’ll want to avoid any noise that will keep you awake or rile you up.
Don’t force it.
If you’re excited or anxious for some reason right around bedtime, hitting the sheets may not be a great idea. Not being able to sleep can be frustrating, so it may be more productive to do something to occupy your mind for half an hour or so. Listening to some soothing music, reading a book, or looking through old photos can give your mind something to do while simultaneously easing any nervous tension or stress you may be feeling. Relaxation methods such as breathing techniques and muscle relaxation might be worth trying, as well. Of course, if you’re already in bed, there are different theories as to how you should spend your time.
White noise can help.
White noise is steady and soothing, and it can keep your high alert mind from hearing every little twitch or creak in your bedroom. Once your mind is at ease, it can easily transition into healthy sleep. The unremitting sound is less about volume and more about blocking out distractions. Quiet noises in a silent room are often startling, whereas a loud air conditioner can calm your mind and lull you to sleep. Ceiling and box fans are common forms of white noise that also serve to circulate the air in your bedroom. There a several free apps that feature dozens of sleep sounds such as rainfall, ocean waves, drying machine, and crickets.
Hydrate in advance
It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Naturally though, you go several hours every night without consuming any fluids while you sleep. Drinking lots of water right before your head hits the pillow is a great way to wake yourself up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom. At the same time, you also don’t want to be so thirsty that you can’t sleep. Start drinking water around two hours before bedtime and cut yourself off about an hour prior. That way you can make your trip to the bathroom before you fall asleep, yet feel hydrated as you doze off.
To ensure you get a good night of sleep, try reBloom, the all natural sleep elixir that is clinically proven to provide better quality sleep.