Good sleep hygiene is essential for mental, emotional, and physical health. Sleep is our body’s chance to recharge, to renew, and to get some much-needed rest from working hard all day long. However, just because we know a good night's sleep is important, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re always being intentional about getting one.
Here are three sleep hacks to help you jump start your sleep hygiene routine.
Having a sleep schedule will help the body to get in the habit of knowing when it’s time to rest. This means doing a few of the same things every night to communicate to your body that it's time to prepare for sleep. A sleep routine could look like having a glass of tea, brushing your teeth, and reading a book in bed. The idea is to do the same thing, or as close to the same thing, every night at the same time to trigger an alert in your body that it is time to wind down and rest.
We all know that electronics or blue light rays before bed can disrupt our sleep. There have been plenty of studies to verify this. Yet the truth is, many of us aren’t following this sleep hack regularly. Try replacing your bedtime scrolling with a good book (physical or audio) or podcast. Or when it’s time for bed, as part of your routine noted above, place your phone far enough away from the bed so that you won’t be tempted to reach for it.
Having something going on in the background, like white noise or the sound of ocean waves, can help calm our body and central nervous system with the repetition and predictability of the sound. It can also help to minimize racing thoughts or over thinking that keep so many of us up at night. The monotonous, calming sounds can help give the brain something to pay attention to, instead of your thoughts.
We need to give our body and our brain the healthiest sleep environment possible for restoration and renewal. You would not expect your phone or computer to work if you didn't give it the charge it needed to keep working at full capacity, and this applies to you too. Try these sleep hacks to wake up recharged and ready for whatever the day may throw at you.
If you struggle with sleep, it may help to speak to a Sokya therapist or psychiatrist to see what tools are available to you.