The Sleep Guide: HYGIENE, ROUTINE, IMPORTANCE
Calling all insomniacs!!!
This post is dedicated to those of us who love the idea of a good night’s sleep until it comes down to bedtime <3
Year after year, I make a resolution to fix my sleep schedule. 19 years later, I’m still freestyling this whole sleep thing. The craziest part is I want nothing more than to go back to bed once I’m awake, and I usually do just that. The easy solution would just be to go to bed earlier, but I know how redundant that sounds.
Lucky for you, I have done extensive research on sleep hygiene and how to create a bedtime routine that doesn’t overwhelm you. The most important thing to keep in mind when working out a routine is that you need to pick something that won’t be difficult to follow. It needs to be simple. The less steps, the better, unless you’re someone who likes to plan every second out.
The energy you had when you plan your new routine will vanish about 4 days into your routine. Even though it’s frustrating to not have your life together, it’s better long-term if you start small, with one actionable item, and measure how it affects your sleep.
I started by getting blackout curtains to keep the light out of my room and avoiding caffeine after 2 pm. That was it. I still went on my phone in bed, I still went to bed and woke up at completely different times on a given day. But the two things I made happen stuck with me long term. It’s now such an easy thing for me because it has genuinely become a habit.
I can’t count the number of times I have looked up how to get better sleep at night in the literal middle of the night.
Also, stop listening to people/media that romanticize sleep deprivation!! It’s embarrassing. Most of the time people brag about pulling an all-nighter and being sooo productive, but study after study shows that sleep improves peak performance, functioning, and productivity, not all nighters. 70% of physicians argue that poor sleep is a public health crisis. Lack of sleep increases inflammation, which has links to depression, cognitive decline, and a whole host of diseases.
Now that I’ve scared you, here are a few sleep hygiene practices to consider incorporating into your bedtime routine::
- Avoid electronics 90 minutes before bed.
- Blue light prevents the pineal gland from releasing melatonin
- Don’t take naps. If this feels impossible for you, just try to keep it less than 20 minutes and in the middle of your day.
- Block out light in your bedroom. Blackout curtains are lit and a great excuse to go to Target.
- Get off your phone. The blue light prevents melatonin release. If you really can’t get off your phone, put your phone on night mode and put on those blue light glasses TikTok made you buy. But don’t wear them in broad daylight unless you want to throw off your body’s circadian rhythm!!!
- Stop drinking caffeine 10 hours before bedtime. If that’s too hard, stop drinking it after dinner, and slowly work your way back a few hours.
- STICK TO A BEDTIME (and wake-up time) EVERY NIGHT!!
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY: HAVE DISCIPLINE & BE CONSISTENT!!
Here’s to less sleepless nights and better sleep hygiene!