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How To Practice Sleep Hygiene: Benefits, Behaviors, And Seven Golden Rules

Sleep is an important part of human existence and is essential for maintaining internal balance. It must be restorative and invigorating, but for this to happen there must be good sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene? 

Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe behaviors to adopt in order to increase sleep quality . Sleep hygiene aims at acquiring good sleeping habits, through a set of appropriate behaviors and habits, associated with good environmental conditions, so that it is possible to have restful sleep and prevent drowsiness during the day.

Sleep is as fundamental to life as breathing. Hence, the quality of sleep is important for anyone, particularly in the development process of children and adolescents.

Behaviors for good sleep hygiene 

  • Sleep in a cozy, comfy and relaxing environment, choose the organic bedding sheets like bamboo bedsheets, controlling noise, light and temperature
  • Avoid excessive intake of alcohol and tobacco before going to bed
  • Avoid heavy or sweet foods before bed
  • Avoid coffee, tea black and soft drinks before bed
  • Avoid using a cell phone, computer or tablet before going to bed
  • Do regular physical exercise at appropriate times
  • Do not take naps longer than 45 minutes
  • Have a regular bedtime.

Benefits of good sleep hygiene

There are number of benefits of general well-being and good quality of life. It will strengthening your memory, adequate immunity, and help to fight infections.

Not only better intellectual and work capacity but also prevention of the onset of chronic diseases, such as metabolic diseases; cardiovascular, neurological and psychiatric.

Consequences of poor sleep hygiene

  • Mood changes
  • Appetite dysregulation and increased propensity for obesity
  • Decreased libido (sexual disinterest)
  • Greater propensity for premature aging
  • Increased risk of road/work accidents
  • Increased risk of chronic diseases
  • Lower intellectual capacity
  • Less work capacity
  • Progressive memory loss
  • Daytime drowsiness/excessive fatigue

The 7 rules of sleep hygiene

  1. Cultivating routines:  Falling asleep at the same time helps to regulate the body’s functions. Exposure to sunlight after waking up activates alertness and the cognitive functions that underlie good performance.
  2. Sleep on it:  Identify and make a note of what you have to do the next day. Taking problems to bed and ruminating about them only generates mental overload and undesirable physiological changes.
  3. Food awareness: Avoid very heavy meals so as not to overload the metabolism and avoid digestive problems, which interfere with falling asleep. Limit alcohol, sugar and caffeine consumption.
  4. Create a conducive environment:  Preserve the maximum amount of darkness and silence in the bedroom, which should have a mild temperature, between 16 and 20 degrees. Make your space comfortable for you and those who share it with you by choosing a honey hybrid mattress.
  5. No to blue light:  On tablets, mobile phones and other screens, as it inhibits the production of the hormone produced in the pineal gland, between 10 pm and 3 am, on average, responsible for quality sleep.
  6. Natural supplements:  Intake of melatonin, the sleep hormone, contributes to the relief of complaints associated with jet lag and naturally induces a state of drowsiness. Long-acting use requires a doctor’s prescription.
  7. Medical follow-up:  In case of insomnia, clinical advice is required. If you have chronic insomnia, a sleep medicine specialist can prescribe tests and the controlled use of drugs, create a personalized plan to adjust routines and even provide counseling or psychotherapy.

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