Welcome to part 3 of our sleep hygiene series, if you missed part 1 & 2, you can check them out here and here, respectively. Being this is the final instalment for now, we've got two more bonus tips for good measure!
Nothing in this series should be groundbreaking, but it should serve as a kind of checklist to work through if you have been having struggles with sleeping through the night. If you've exhausted all of these options and you're still not having any luck, then it would be wise to speak to your doctors who may review any possible medications or refer you to sleep specialist. Regardless, sleep is an extremely important facet of our lives that we don't often appreciate until we're not getting enough of it, so it pays to prioritise it with tips likes these whenever possible.
1). Keep the room dark.
We are talking as dark as it can possibly be. This means curtains, shades, and/ or a sleep mask are a must.
As it's not possible for me to completely black out the room I sleep in, I've found this mask to be particularly effective (not an ad). It differs from your typical sleep mask with an adjustable band and a mould that means there's no contact between the mask and your face which makes a serious difference.
Also, removing electronics from the bedroom can make a huge difference but if this is not possible I'd suggest covering any standby lights that might be showing.
2). Make your bedroom stress AND clutter-free.
Easier said than done for most of us, but we want to create an environment that is conducive to peaceful sleep. Be ruthless, start by getting rid of any stacks of mail, books, boxes, clothes strewn about, etc. Deal with anything that is not where it should be, your bedroom is a temple for a good night's sleep.
3). Keep it cool.
We want to be as comfortable as possible while we sleep, so this is really a personal preference sort of thing, but in general more people sleep better when the room is cool. If you have the ability to control the temperature in your room/home, around 18-20°C seems to work best for most of us at night- but take note of the conditions around a good or poor night's sleep for you and see if this makes the difference for you.
4).Use white noise.
White noise can be a useful way to drown out any unwanted sounds from people you live with or neighbours so that we can relax and gently fall asleep. Turn on a fan, humidifier or play around with some pre-recorded white noise from apps like spotify. If you are using tech, just be mindful of the volume (you don't want it too high) and refer to tip 1 and cover any standby lights that prevent your room from being truly dark.
5). Vitamin D.
Get outside in the sunlight and fresh air during the day. We mentioned in part 2 that getting in more physical activity will help, and we hinted that being outside was a way to supercharge those effects, we weren't kidding. Cool things happen when we spend more time outdoors, it's undeniably good for us. If it's really not possible for you to get out into the natural light in the day, then it may be beneficial to supplement with some vitamin D, but nothing can replace the real thing.
6). Take a bath or shower.
A warm bath with epsom salts or even a cool shower (depending on personal preference) can promote restful sleep according to the PN team. As part of a routine it can signal to our body that it's time to wind down, with changes to our core temperature post bathing also helping us on a biological level here.
7). Invest in a quality mattress.
Time spent researching ways to improve your sleep will inevitably lead to putting attention on the thing that you sleep on every night. Much of this will come down to personal preference and what allows you to feel comfortable night after night. Good quality mattresses do not come cheap, but it's one of those investments you are going to come face to face with every single day, so choose carefully.
Thank you for reading, this was part 3 of a 3 part series on sleep hygiene. This is a huge topic so it's very likely we'll be creating more posts about it in the future. In the meantime, please feel to reach out if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. As always, please share with those you feel will benefit and you can find us on Facebook and Instagram. and we hope this helps you enjoy a good night's sleep.