GETTING HEALTHY sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health, improving the overall quality of life and productivity. Regardless of your age, you can benefit from better sleep, and the best way to achieve it is by paying attention to your sleep hygiene.
Excellent sleep hygiene means having daily routines and a bedroom environment that promotes uninterrupted and consistent sleep. People have different sleep habits suited to their needs. Regardless of your preferences or needs, here are some ways to improve your sleep hygiene:
- Use Crystals For Better Sleep
Sleep can be disrupted for various reasons, including emotional concerns such as stress, loneliness, and anxiety. Using crystals for better sleep can give you some measure of relief.
Certain crystals are believed to have healing properties, so using them in your bedtime routine may help you experience peace of mind, which is essential for a restful night’s sleep. However, take note that crystals must not replace medication or medical advice.
If you’re considering using crystals, make sure to choose the right one for your needs. The following are some crystals you may use for better sleep:
- Amethyst: It’s a purple crystal that reputedly enables you to connect to your inner peace.
- Celestite: Usually pale blue or white, it can help soothe your soul and is known to prevent nightmares.
- Selenite: It’s a translucent stone believed to clear negative energy and bring in positive energy.
- Onyx: It’s a black stone that could help eliminate stress, allowing you to sleep better.
- Rose Quartz: It’s a pale pink stone known for its heart chakra, which could make you feel loved and relaxed.
When choosing crystals, remember to limit the number you keep in your bedroom. Too much crystal energy may keep you up at night. It’s wise to get a few and place them on your dresser or nightstand. You may also place crystals under your bed.
In addition, make sure to cleanse your crystals every month to ensure their energies remain at their full capacity. Over time, crystals pick up whatever energy you release, so cleansing them is crucial to keep their energy clear. One of the best ways to cleanse your crystals is to place them under the moonlight or sunlight for several hours.
- Consider meditation
Meditation can help you stay calm and create the inner conditions necessary for restful sleep. Once you settle your mind, you’re resting your body and this restfulness is what makes it easier to drift off and wind down.
In scientific terms, meditation may help lower one’s heart rate by encouraging slower breathing and igniting the parasympathetic nervous system, thereby increasing the chances of quality sleep. If you want to practice meditation for your sleep hygiene, you may consider various tools and techniques.
One of the things that can help your mind and body relax is a meditation pillow. Using meditation pillows offers potential benefits which include less physical distress, extended time for meditation, and a visual cue to remind you to meditate. Also, this kind of cushion can improve your blood circulation and help you maintain better posture.
However, the meditation pillow ideal for you depends on the kind of meditation you prefer to engage in regularly. If you want to combine your meditative practices with various types, you’ll need a universal meditation cushion.
Other meditation techniques you can explore to achieve better sleep are as follows:
It’s a known sleep meditation technique that involves imagining a relaxing setting. It’s beneficial if you often find yourself lying awake and battling countless anxious thoughts.
Practicing visualization means you have full control to imagine any scenario that would put you at ease. It could be mountains, beaches, waterfalls, or serene lakes. The only thing you have to do is pay attention to as many details as possible. For example, if you imagine yourself lounging by a lake, picture the plants around you, the sounds, and the surrounding water.
A relaxing body scan is like a mental x-ray. As its name implies, this technique often involves scanning your whole body for any signs of stiffness, pain, or tension in order to relieve it.
To try this technique, the first step is to get cosy. Then, try to focus on each part of your body. Begin with your head and make your way down until you reach your toes. This may help alleviate the pent-up tension in your body. However, if you like to doze off faster, make an effort to relax each part of your body while doing a body scan.
After a tiring day at work, the last thing you might like to do is put all your efforts into blocking your thoughts. However, meditation doesn’t require much effort or focus as you may simply listen to calming music.
When you’re ready to go to bed, play soothing sleep meditation music, which can be effective in lulling you to sleep and reducing your stress at the same time. Depending on your preferences, you can listen to meditation music playlists available on various platforms.
The primary goal of reflective meditation is to ask yourself some questions and look within yourself. The questions can be anything as long as they trigger a positive response.
For example, you may ask about the best thing that happened to you today. Once you have an answer, try to focus on the positive feeling and channel it to soothe your mind.
Those are just some of the many meditation techniques to consider. If you find yourself struggling in this area, there’s no harm in attending meditation classes or consulting a meditation expert for a one-on-one session. Meditating with professionals may add a sense of accountability to your practice, providing you with better results in the long run. Just make sure to work with the most reliable meditation expert in your local area.
- Have a Regular Sleep Schedule
Another way to enhance your sleep hygiene is to have a regular sleep schedule. It means you should wake up and go to bed at the same time daily. Having a consistent sleep schedule sets your body’s internal clock to anticipate waking up and winding down at particular times. This makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep until morning.
While you have obligations that may get in the way of your typical sleep time, be sure to return to your schedule the following day. For example, once you stay out late at a party, instead of sleeping later than usual, try waking up at your regular time to maintain your sleep-wake cycle.
- Avoid Lying Awake
If you’re lying in bed unable to sleep after about 20 to 30 minutes, it’s best to get up and relax somewhere else, like in a comfortable chair in your living room. You may also do something you find calming. Once you feel sleepy, get back to bed.
- Establish A Night Routine
Establishing a night routine that includes something you enjoy will help you relax and get ready for sleep. Whether you love taking a bath, reading a book, listening to soothing music, stretching, or practicing restorative yoga, engaging in activities that help calm your mind and body allows you to sleep better.
- Limit your daytime naps
While occasional power naps can be advantageous, taking naps longer than 20 minutes can be detrimental to your sleep during bedtime. Moreover, naps taken late in the afternoon may make it hard for you to fall asleep.
Naps longer than 20 minutes may also result in sleep inertia, which is the feeling of disorientation or grogginess after waking up. This feeling may last anywhere from two to four hours, making naps feel like a mistake. The next time you feel an afternoon slump start to weigh down your eyelids, eat a healthy snack or go for a walk instead of taking a nap.
- Rule Out Sleep Disorders
If you often experience poor sleep, it may be due to an underlying health condition. It’d be best to consult your doctor immediately.
Inability to sleep well at night or insomnia is a common sleep disorder. It may be due to stress, certain medications, jet lag, or mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Sleep apnea is another common sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing temporarily during your sleep. The other possible cause of sleep issues is circadian rhythm disorders, which are common in shift workers who have sleep times that are out of alignment.
If you experience sleep deprivation or think you’re suffering from a sleeping disorder, see your doctor so he can assess your condition and provide you with a proper diagnosis. He may prescribe medications or refer you to the best sleep specialist, depending on your condition.
- Avoid Exercising Before Bedtime
While having a regular exercise routine may boost your sleep quality, you must plan to work out at least three hours before your usual bedtime. Exercise stimulates brain activity and increases adrenaline, which may prevent drowsiness. So, you need some time for the adrenaline to subside.
- Optimize Your Bedroom
A primary component of sleep hygiene habits beyond is your sleep environment. If you want to fall asleep quickly, your room should emanate tranquility.
While what makes a room inviting can differ from one person to the next, the following tips may keep it calm and free of disruptions:
- Try Calming Scents: Light smells like lavender may help cultivate a positive space for sleep and induce a calmer state of mind.
- Down Out Noise: Earplugs may stop the noise from keeping you awake. If you don’t like using one, you may use a fan or white noise machine to drown out ambient noise.
- Block Out Light; Use an eye mask or heavy curtains to prevent light from filtering through and interrupting your sleep.
- Set A Cool And Comfortable Temperature: Ensure your bedroom temperature suits your preferences.
- Use Excellent Bedding: The blankets and sheets are the first things you touch once you get into bed. Therefore, it’s beneficial to ensure they match your preferences and needs.
- Have A Comfortable Pillow And Mattress – Your sleeping surface is crucial to enjoying pain-free and comfortable sleep. So, make sure to choose the best pillow and mattress for your needs.
- Reduce your screen time
Light at night and sleep don’t mix well. Tablets, TVs, and computer monitors emit blue light, which may interfere with your natural inclination to feel sleepy during bedtime. For that reason, limit the screen time on your devices in the evening.
If possible, use blue light filtering glasses or add a blue light screen protector after sundown to help your body release melatonin at the right time. Rather than screen time, consider doing other activities to help you wind down before bed, like taking a warm bath and reading a book.
- Avoid Nicotine, Caffeine, And Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine all impact your sleep cycle in their own way. Keep in mind that caffeine is a stimulant, and it may last longer than you think. It’s crucial to avoid caffeine consumption for six to eight hours before bedtime.
On the other hand, nicotine’s effect on sleep can be deceitful. This substance disrupts your sleep cycle and may increase your risk of suffering from sleeping disorders. Like caffeine, it’s also a stimulant, which means your exhaustion can be disguised by the stimulating properties, resulting in further health complications.
Aside from caffeine and nicotine, you also need to avoid alcoholic beverages before bed. For instance, some are tempted to drink a glass of wine to fall asleep. While alcohol promotes the onset of sleep, it can actually disrupt your usual sleep pattern. So, make sure to avoid consuming any kind of alcoholic beverage before going to bed.
Sleep is crucial for longevity and health. Poor sleep may lead to health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Luckily, there are things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene. From practicing meditation and using crystals for sleep to optimizing your bedroom and keeping a regular sleep schedule, you’ll be able to sleep better and enjoy overall good health.