5 Instant Sleep Hygiene Tips for Better Sleep Tonight
We all want to get better sleep. Some of us have a harder time than others, though. Whether it’s due to a big job interview the next day, an inconsistent work schedule, general stress and anxiety, a confused circadian rhythm, or something else, sleeplessness can affect everybody from time to time. You might have even been lying in bed and wondered, “Am I ever going to fall asleep?”
First of all: Know that you are not alone. Pretty much everybody has this experience at various times throughout life. In other words, it’s a very common experience in the modern world. People’s lives are busy and hectic, and sleep becomes a sort of afterthought. Of course, we need sleep to function properly, so what can we do?
Glad you asked! There are actually a number of things you can do right now, instantly, that may just help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer night after night. Here are five tips for better sleep hygiene that you can use tonight.
There are actually a number of things you can do right now, instantly, that may just help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer night after night.
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
Truth be told, sleep hygiene is just like any other kind of hygiene. Dental hygiene is about brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, flossing, going to the dentist, etc. In principle, sleep hygiene is the same thing as dental hygiene, except that it’s all about your bedtime routine instead of your teeth.
According to the Sleep Foundation, “Strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep.” In other words, sleep hygiene is the combination of your physical bedroom space and your personal routine. Together, they make up what’s known as sleep hygiene.
The Sleep Foundation goes on to say, “Every sleeper can tailor their sleep hygiene practices to suit their needs. In the process, you can harness positive habits to make it easier to sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up well-rested.”
Sleep hygiene is just like any other kind of hygiene. Dental hygiene is about brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, flossing, going to the dentist, etc. In principle, sleep hygiene is the same thing as dental hygiene, except that it’s all about your bedtime routine instead of your teeth.
Today, we’re going to focus on five sleep hygiene practices that apply to the bedroom environment and experience. There are plenty of things you can do during the day as well on a routine basis, but our focus here is on what you can do to get better sleep tonight.
If you put even one of these five tips into practice, you are giving yourself a much better chance at falling asleep and staying asleep.
Since everyone’s body and situation is different, you may not find all five of these suggestions suitable. Some will work better for you than others. And that’s great! All you have to do is find what works for you and stick with it.
Now, let’s get into the five instant sleep hygiene tips for better sleep tonight.
#1 Sleep Hygiene Tip: Control the Sound
Naturally, some factors might be beyond your control, such as the weather outside, or your noisy neighbors. But some things can be controlled, more or less, and they can be a huge help when going to bed.
For one thing, loud noises are naturally going to perk up your ears and your brain. For most of us, loud noises are simply impossible when trying to fall asleep. To help with this, you can use a white noise/sound machine, headphones with nature sounds, or even ear plugs. All of these can help to block out external noise and let your body unwind in peace.
#2 Sleep Hygiene Tip: Shut Out the Light
As you may already know, the human body is biologically wired to stay awake and alert when there’s light. Because of this, the simple act of turning out all the lights can make a big difference.
Other tips include wearing a sleep mask or even installing blackout curtains. Both of these can be incredibly beneficial for falling and staying asleep.
#3 Sleep Hygiene Tip: Make It Comfy and Cozy
Perhaps the most important sleep hygiene tip — and a relatively simple one to accomplish — is to make sure it’s comfortable and at a nice temperature. And the CDC agrees! If you aren’t comfortable when you’re trying to fall asleep, it’s going to be much harder to do.
So, once you’ve gotten the sound and light taken care of, you can focus on what we like to call the Coziness Factor. Your bed should be an oasis. But you shouldn’t have to book a stay at the Ritz just to get that. That’s why investing in the perfect mattress, pillow, and sheets set is pivotal to getting great sleep.
Another tip: Set the thermostat to your most comfortable temperature, about an hour before climbing under the covers. This will give your home plenty of time to cool down or warm up to that spot, which will allow you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
If you don’t have central air conditioning, no problem! You might use an efficient window unit, ceiling fan, or floor fan. All of these can work wonders at creating a comfy bedroom temperature for you all night long. The more comfortable you are in bed, the easier it will be for your body to relax and get good sleep.
Your bed should be an oasis. But you shouldn’t have to book a stay at the Ritz just to get that. That’s why investing in the perfect mattress, pillow, and sheets set is pivotal to getting great sleep.
#4 Sleep Hygiene Tip: Limit Screen Time
This may be hard to hear, so brace yourself… Screens like TV’s and smartphones can make sleep a lot more difficult. We know. We aren't happy about it either!
All kidding aside, as we mentioned earlier, light makes the body more alert and awake. As a result, the bright light coming from your TV, iPhone, Android, or tablet can literally keep you from getting the sleep you so desperately need and deserve. So, when you’re slowing down and decompressing for bed, click off Netflix and put down the Candy Crush. Both can wait for tomorrow.
Screens like TV’s and smartphones can make sleep a lot more difficult. We know. We aren’t happy about it either!
#5 Sleep Hygiene Tip: It’s All About the Energy
Depending on when you’re reading this, it may be too late today for this tip, but it’s still very much worth mentioning. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, there are two things related to bodily energy that can help: stay away from caffeine and get some exercise.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, there are two things related to bodily energy that can help: stay away from caffeine and get some exercise.
Caffeine naturally makes the body more energetic, which can cause some people to have trouble getting to sleep. On the other side, however, exercise naturally primes the body to be ready for rest, relaxation, and sleep. If it’s too late today, don’t worry! There’s always tomorrow for one less cup of coffee and a nice walk around the block with the dog.
Sleep Hygiene Tips for a Good Night’s Rest
If you’ve been having trouble getting to sleep at night, we hope that these five quick tips will help give you a little nudge in the right direction or a little nudge towards better sleep . Did you read the section on coziness and realize you need a new mattress, pillow, or sheet set? View our full collection of comfy bedding and accessories for the coziest night’s sleep you’ve ever had — tonight, and for many, many years to come.