by: Allie Boudreau
Sleep hygiene, what is it? It is not scrubbing up before bed or wearing fresh pajamas (although it would be nice to include those in this conversation too). Sleep hygiene is the quality of our sleep, and there are a lot of factors at play. Here are 10 things to consider/incorporate into your bedtime routine in order to ensure a good night’s rest.
- Keep a regular schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times. With a regular schedule, your body will release calming hormones before bed and stimulating hormones upon waking up.
- Keep alcohol and caffeine MODERATE. Both of these will interfere with sleep. Try and cut yourself off from coffee 8-9 hours before bed (easier said than done).
- Eat and drink appropriately. A small sized meal 2-3 hours before bed can help facilitate sleep. Avoid chugging liquids before bed, which will help avoid 2am bathroom breaks.
- Journal or meditate. Take just a few moments to write down your thoughts from the day or sit in silence, focusing on your breath, before hitting the pillow.
- Turn off electronics. This means no scrolling Instagram or Facebook while laying in bed, and turning the TV off 30 minutes before bed. Blue light, present in these electronics, prevents our brain from preparing for sleep.
- Stretch/de-stress. Try sitting in a few yoga poses and incorporate some diaphragmatic breathing with it.
- Go to bed before midnight. This better aligns with light cycles.
- Sleep at least 7 hours. Take into consideration when you wake up each day. If you wake up at 6am, be in bed asleep by 11pm.
- Exercise regularly. Physical movement can promote restful sleep at night (this works best working out outdoors!)
- Take a bath or shower. A warm Epsom salt bath or a cool shower can promote restful sleep.
Clean eating and good sleep hygiene are a perfect combination for optimal recovery for performance. Try these tips tonight and sleep well!