Lately I have been reading and hearing about the importance of sleep so much that I started to believe that these were signs for me to pay attention to my sleep. Sleep is essential to good health and it is also an fundamental part of the autoimmune protocol.
I have never been a good sleeper. I usually have troubles going to sleep. I wake up during the night and feel often tired in the morning. However, lately I have been making an effort to follow different sleep hygiene tips to get better sleep. Have you heard of the sleep hygiene tips before? Here is my list:
- It is important to maintain a regular sleep routine, even on the weekends. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. I try to go to bed around 10 pm every day. I am not saying I am always in bed by 10 but it is my goal every night, especially when i have to get up early. And it is paying off.
- Do not watch TV or use your phone/computer/tablet right before bed, especially not in your bed. I usually do not watch TV (I don’t even have a TV) or use the computer right before going to bed. If I do use my phone, I turn the blue light off, as it impairs the produce of melatonin and your sleep. Put your phone into flight mode when during the night or turn it off completely. Some experts do not even recommend reading in bed, but it usually helps me personally to wind down when i cannot fall asleep.
- Exercise regularly. I usually start my day with my ashtanga yoga practice and a short meditation, and I walk to and from work on most days. On the weekends, it is best to get out of the city, into nature, get some fresh air, recharge and relax.
- Be cautious with caffeine and sugar in the afternoon. It is best not to drink coffee or tea after lunch time. I personally do not drink coffee at all because I’m intolerant to it, but I do enjoy a nice green tea in the morning and after lunch.
- Have a nice bedtime routine. Dim the lights in the evening, light a few candles, put on some nice comfy clothes and relax. You can have a bath with essential oils or a hot shower. Another nice way to end the day is to meditate before going to bed or perhaps listen to a guided relaxation or some affirmations.
- Ideally, sleep in a cool, dark and quiet room. I always air the bedroom before going to bed. A good idea is also to invest in some dark curtains or an eye mask if your bedroom is not dark enough.
- Try not to eat right before going to bed. Ideally, have a light dinner three hours before going to bed.
- Avoid naps when possible. I do not know about you, but I usually can’t sleep during the day anyway. I could not ever do it, even when I was little.
Overall, I think maintaining a regular bedtime has helped me to sleep better. I do not sleep well every night but my sleep and my energy levels have definitely improved. I can’t wait for this winter to finish though, to get some more energy and vitamin D from the sun.
How is your sleep? Do you sleep well? Have you heard about sleep hygiene before? Let me know 🙂