You have inadvertently stumbled upon this site in the hope of improving your sleeping habits, or those of a loved one. You want to know how to sleep properly, which could possibly be the best decision you could make. This website is dedicated to showing you how to sleep better and how to practice good sleep hygiene. Healthy sleeping habits can help increase productivity the next day, making you more alert and less depressed.
A common misconception is that improving your sleeping hygiene is solely to do with sleeping on time and for a sufficient length of time. This is not always the case as it is not only the quantity of sleep that matters but also the quality of sleep you get during the night.
So who actually needs healthy sleeping habits and who will benefit the most from them? In one word, everybody. Obviously, some people already have better sleeping hygiene than others. Those with good sleep habits may need less work and may not notice much of difference in their quality of sleep. The people that need to work on their sleep habits more will more than likely see results straight away.
With that in mind, how do you sleep effectively to maintain quality sleeping patterns? This site focuses on the ins and outs of this topic. It also highlights selected methods for different age groups such as good sleeping habits in babies, teenagers, and adults.
We’ll talk about the anatomy of sleeping habits. There are two broad types of sleeping, REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement). To gain a fundamental understanding of how to sleep well, we will need to at least know the basics of these two areas of sleeping.
REM sleep is named accordingly because this is the period where your eyes move rapidly. Because this is all a fairly modern area of science, things we know for certain is that REM sleep gives the most vivid and memorable dreams.
There are three main stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. Stage 1 normally happens when you first fall asleep, this is normally described as the transition between being awake and asleep. In stage 2, you are asleep but can be awakened quite lightly. The last stage is the deep sleep stage, some dreaming happens at this stage but is still not as likely as in the REM stage.
You can learn more about this by reading this article on the Web MD website: What Are REM and Non-REM Sleep?
Now that we know the fundamental basics of sleep, we can start to decide what techniques and methods we can use to make the most of our nights and practice good sleeping habits.
You know the importance of good sleeping habits, but what exactly are they? It is the process of getting the body psychologically ready to go to bed, it is also the process of giving the body the optimum physical condition to allow the brain to rest. Although there are medications and artificial solutions to regulate these two factors, they only give short term relief of insomnia and ineffective sleep. To tackle the problem in the long run, we will need to consistently practice good sleeping habits and use natural methods which are more effective and healthier.
Here’s something to think about in context:
Sleeping habits are important if you want to perform at work and generally carry out your life in the most efficient way possible.
We’ve listed some benefits above, but what exactly are these good sleeping habits that we should be practicing? This post lists the top 10 healthy sleeping habits you can use to help you sleep better, and reduce the chance of developing sleeping disorders.
- The first, and possibly most important, healthy sleeping habit is to keep a regular schedule for sleeping and waking up. This is because humans and many animals have developed something which is basically a sleeping pattern closely related to the day-night / light-dark cycle. By maintaining this sleep habit, it can support the circadian rhythm which will be extremely beneficial when trying to find out how to sleep properly.
- As well as keeping on a regular sleeping and waking schedule, it is also good sleep hygiene to form a routine to do before you go to bed. This could include brushing your teeth, drinking some water, reading a few pages from a book, praying, or meditating. Notice how all of these activities aren’t very engaging on the brain so they help relax the mind, and therefore make falling asleep a lot easier. It is important that you are in a relaxed frame of mind before you sleep as this can reduce the chance of waking up in the middle of the night.
- Along the same lines of the previous sleep habits, you should set the right environment for yourself before you go to bed. One rule is that you shouldn’t expose yourself to bright light as this can change the sensitivity of the receptors in your eyes that could disrupt sleep and could cause sleeping problems. Noise should also be kept to a minimum and the temperature of the room should be cool as a colder room is proven to help you regulate your body temperature better as you sleep.
- Getting the right mattress and pillow is also incredibly important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. There really is no hard and fast rule as to which mattresses and pillows are best suited to you so you will have to find out yourself through trial and error. For great sleep hygiene, your bedding really needs to be top notch. Whats the point of practicing good sleeping habits when your bed is of poor quality?
- You should only use your bed for sleeping and making love. This helps associate your bed with sleeping, and helps you get to sleep quicker. Doing anything else in bed such as work or surfing the internet can stop you from getting tired so this is definitely a bad sleeping habit you should avoid.
- Your eating schedule should fit both your sleeping and waking times. This is as much a sleeping habit as it is an eating one. You should eat and drink well in advance (2-3 hours) of your bedtime as this helps your digestive system and reduces the chance of you wakening in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. This will also make you hungrier right when you wake up in the morning, and everyone knows how important breakfasts are.
- If you do have trouble falling asleep frequently, then you should consider exercising more earlier in the day as this drains your entire body of energy which can only be regained through sleep. By being physically tired, your body feels the need to rest to rebuild muscles and reenergize. This is a great if you’re really stuck for ideas on how to sleep well.
- Never drink or eat anything with caffeine in it after around 4 as this can stop you from being able to sleep until the early hours of the morning. This is a key sleeping habit that many people neglect when they are used to drinking multiple cups of caffeine a day. Even if you do manage to get to sleep after drinking caffeine, the sleep you get will not be as effective and you may still feel tired in the morning (resulting in more caffeine!).
- If you’re a smoker, try to avoid smoking near bed time because nicotine is a stimulant, making your heart pump faster and stopping you from sleeping. This is not the biggest reason for quitting smoking, but should definitely contribute to your decision. Among other negative things, smoking before bed is a very bad sleeping habit to have.
- The last sleeping habit similar to the one just above. It is to avoid alcohol before you go to sleep. Alcohol can mess up your sleeping patterns and if you do sleep, there may be problems such as nightmares or unrestful sleeping.
If you practice these few sleeping habits, you will definitely feel a lot more refreshed in the mornings.