Written by Vera Coetsee, Health and Nutrition Coach
13 June 2023
Most of us have had a bad night’s sleep, and know how this can affect our mood the following day. It can leave us feeling tired, irritable, and even lead to food cravings. More research is proving the importance of good quality sleep and how this can affect our overall health.
In fact, how we spend our time before we go to bed at night can have a major impact on the quality of our sleep, and affect our mood, energy levels, and productivity the next day. Sleep hygiene refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you have difficulty sleeping or want to improve your sleep, try incorporating these tips to help you get a good night’s rest:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
- Go to bed before 11pm and ensure a 8 hours night sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed time.
- If you are struggling to fall asleep, get out of bed and try a quiet activity without bright light exposure (no technology).
- Create a calming night time routine which includes relaxing activities such as reading, meditation or taking a bath, and no technology.
- Ensure your bedroom is dark (invest in good curtains), quiet, well-ventilated and at a cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to bright lights before bed time. You can try using blue light blocking glasses to limit the exposure to bright lights at night.
- Turn off your phone, computer and television at least an hour before bedtime.
- Don’t eat right before bedtime. If food is required, eat a small protein rich snack at least an hour before going to bed.
- Avoid cardio exercise late at night.
- Avoid too much liquid before bedtime so that you don’t have to go to the bathroom throughout the night.
- Don’t consistently look at your clock since this can cause even more anxiety.
- Get sun exposure every day since natural light helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
If you need support with your sleep, we offer a range of holistic therapies that can help you to improve your sleep quality. Make an appointment at our clinic here.
Alward RR. Sleep hygiene tips. Nurs Spectr (Wash D C). 1995 Apr 3;5(7):12. PMID: 7742938. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7742938/
Gina M. Mason, Sanna Lokhandwala, Tracy Riggins, Rebecca M.C. Spencer, Sleep and human cognitive development, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 57, 2021, 101472, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2021.101472.