Feeling Tired or Trouble Sleeping? Here’s 4 Things You Need to Avoid!
Did you know that sleep is the number 1 underlying pillar of our health? Unlike nutrition, fitness, and mental wellbeing, that each act as a contributing partner to our health, sleep forms the foundation of our health and wellbeing. It’s therefore essential that we prioritise our sleep and do what we can to support a night of deep sleep, by practicing good sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene refers to a variety of habits and practices that regularly help us have good sleep quality and feel alert in the daytime. This includes not just the things we do, eat, drink, and watch, but also our external environment, such as the amount of light our eyes are exposed to, noise, and even the cleanliness and temperature of the room.
Practicing good sleep hygiene as part of our night routine is essential. Below, are the main don’ts associated with poor sleep hygiene. These are things that you might currently do that seem harmless at the time but in fact can jeopardise your ability to fall asleep shortly after you go to bed, as well as the quality of your sleep. I urge you to consider whether you are currently taking part in any of these behaviours, and to replace them with healthier habits.
Exposure to Blue Light – Spending the later hours of your day with your eyes glued to your phone, tablet, TV, or laptop, further subjects your eyes to bright lights, as well as harmful blue LED light. Bright light exposure is known to alleviate feelings of sleepiness by disrupting our circadian rhythm and the brain’s production of melatonin – a necessary hormone for sleep. This is why you might find it hard to feel sleepy when you are watching a show in bed or scrolling on your phone late at night.
Cluttered Environment: Cluttered rooms can make it harder to fall asleep, because the environment can make you feel restless, as it hardly screams calm and peaceful. It’s especially difficult if you keep lots of work, handouts, textbooks, stationery, and your laptop nearby and on display
Inconsistent Sleep and Wake Times: Having a consistent sleep and wake time is vital to our overall wellbeing. Going to bed at different times, and sometimes staying up very late into the early morning, can throw off your body’s natural circadian rhythm or your body’s internal clock.
Insufficient Sleep: While the recommendation is that we aim for 8 hours of sleep each night, so that we feel alert and able to focus the next day, some of us need more sleep and others need less. If you find you are waking up feeling tired and finding it hard to stay alert during the day or needing a nap, you likely need more sleep. Personally, I’m a 9-hours kind of gal.
Do you engage in any of the above habits? Have a think of which ones resonate with you and what changes you can implement to better support a restful night’s sleep.
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