Sleep hygiene is important for getting good rest and vivid dreams. Many factors contribute to a good night’s sleep. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep is only part of it. The temperature of your room, the light levels, and how much you eat and exercise during the day, can all have an effect on how you sleep. If you have trouble getting rest at night, here are some tips that can maximize your sleep hygiene. Scientists have found that sleep enhances memory, keeps you healthy and attractive, prevents cancer, strengthens your immune system, lowers depression, and more! American Academy of sleep medicine says only sleep and sex should be done in bed. That means not watching TV, not working out, not playing games, or doing anything else in the bedroom other than sleep and intimacy.
LED lights affect your levels of melatonin production by 23% due to the blue light. It impacts your sleep cycle and how alert you feel the next day, similar to a digital LED hangover. Powerful lights in the bedroom can affect your sleep quality. Try to use softer lights and even blackout curtains to enhance your sleep cycle to the max potential. You should ideally avoid electronics such as scrolling or TV 1-2 hours before bed. That way, your brain knows that its time to produce melatonin and keep you asleep.
We may like being snug and warm, but scientists found 65F or 18C is the optimum temperature for sleep quality. This may sound too cold at first. Of course, individual body temperatures and sheets of material such as linen may vary the ideal temperature for you, but even if you try dropping the thermostat a few degrees from what you usually use you may fine that the cooler temperature helps you fall asleep significantly quicker.
Irregular Sleep patterns affect performance significantly. Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time or very close. This allows your body to get into a natural sleep rhythm of feeling tired and awake.
Relaxation and our senses play a huge role in sleep promotion. Even colors such as blue and yellow can affect how calm we are. Aromatherapy and smells are also helpful for a relaxing atmosphere. Spraying vanilla, and lavender on your pillow, or using an essential oils diffuser around the bedroom created a mental cue that ties your brain to being sleepy. Smelling scents while asleep can also help trigger lucidity while dreaming when you recognize the smell in your sleep. We can still smell while we are dreaming and our subconscious picks up on a lot of our environment.
Keep your room tidy and organized. Your space directly reflects your mental space and will help your tranquility if the items in your room are minimal. If you work in your bedroom, try to always keep it nice and clean at the very least. It helps start your day on a clean note and sets the stage for a good day. Your subconscious mind picks up on way more than you think!
On nights when you feel insomnia and can't sleep, it's best to get out of bed. This may seem counterproductive but think about it. We want the bed to be mentally associated with sleepiness and calmness. Ask yourself, ‘what is this energy calling me to do?’. Get out of bed and partake in a calming activity. Maybe journal, read, meditate and stretch, but don't stay in bed tossing and turning. When you begin to feel sleepy, return to bed. This teaches your brain that the bed is not for anything other than sleeping and sex.
Morning hygiene is equally as important as sleep hygiene. The way you wake up sets the stage for your day. Wake up on a bad note and the whole day is stressful. Here are some good tips for your morning routine.
Use a soothing alarm, and wake up slowly. This is good for your mental health and dream recall. Try a bird chirping or something peaceful.
While you sleep, your body dehydrates itself so make sure you drink water when you wake up to improve circulation and get your energy going. Hot tea works too to promote metabolism and clear out your teeth and reduce acne.
Energy in motion is the healthiest energy- get enough exercise throughout the day. That way you will feel tired at night and can sleep better. You don't have to go on 5 am runs but even 10 mins of basic walking or yoga is a great way to wake up with a natural energy boost that works even better than morning coffee. Serotonin and endorphin rush in the morning has been proven to help you sleep better.
Eat a nutritious breakfast. I'm sure you know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You can even eat something quick and easy on the go like fruit, a bagel or a smoothie. Time isn't a good enough excuse this is your body and your health we are talking about here. If you have a family make this a peaceful time to connect and bond and talk about your intentions for the day.
Record your dream immediately upon awakening. If you get up , and check your phone, the dream will likely evaporate. Do it before you get out of bed or move around, even if you think it disappeared, it probably hasn't. Lay there and focus on anything you can remember, even if it's just one person or place. Go over your dream signs, how are you feeling when you wake up? Focus on it for a moment and it will likely come back to you, but be careful not to fall back asleep.
Starting your day off on a good note makes a lot of difference in creativity and productivity. Going to sleep at a consistent time every night can make it easier to fall asleep. Building a bedtime routine is an easy way to help yourself stick with a consistent bedtime. Although bedtime routines themselves have not been widely studied, initial research suggests they may help improve sleep. Habits don’t build in a day, so don’t be discouraged if you fall off track or it takes a while to do your routine consistently. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. Try to start small with three steps in your routine first, then add more over time as you get used to them.