Hygiene is considered a routine aspect of personal care and overall health necessary for preventing diseases and other medical conditions. It is taught as early as infancy, as parents work to keep newborns healthy and clean.
Hygiene is often defined by these seven acts:
Sleeping is not typically associated with hygiene and personal care. That should change.
Sleep hygiene is the regular prioritization of actions that promote good-quality sleep that leads to overall health and wellness. Just as washing hands keeps germs from spreading between surfaces or covering a cough keeps germs from traveling airborne, there are easy steps to regularly getting a good night’s sleep. Becoming familiar with these tactics and incorporating them into daily life can bring life-changing results even while you sleep!
Sleep hygiene is about having healthy habits that promote quality sleep. Your behaviors, both during the day and around bedtime, can affect this. If you have a hard time falling or staying asleep, you can try these strategies.
Ironically, getting a good night of rest begins as soon as you wake up! It’s because of the body’s circadian rhythm, an internal pattern that the brain uses to send messages and chemicals to the body. The circadian rhythm is the biggest influence on our sleep schedules, and honoring the cycle will make resting simple and fulfilling.
The circadian rhythm is primarily influenced by light. Natural light cues our brain to send chemicals to the body that either wakes us up or calms us down. To begin the day strong, expose the body and brain to a flood of natural light. Let the sun through the window or even go for a walk outside! If that isn’t an option, try using artificial light that mimics natural daylight. A wake-up lamp, for example, uses a slow timer to brighten a room, similar to a sunrise.
After waking in the morning, try staying out of the bedroom throughout the day. It can be tempting to use the bed for things like reading, working, and watching tv. These tasks keep the brain alert, though. Using the bedroom only during bedtime will help the brain associate the space with sleep. Additionally, avoiding your bed during the day keeps it cleaner for longer. When you enter the room, the body begins winding down and preparing for rest.
Napping can be a fantastic way to refresh the brain and body when feeling run down. It is important to nap mindfully, though.
Adults should only take short naps, roughly 15 to 30 minutes, to avoid dipping too deeply into sleep.
A full sleep cycle during the day can damage the desired cycle that comes at night.
Find ways to cope with daily stress before nighttime. There are thousands of approaches that can relieve anxiety throughout the day. Things like therapy, journaling, and meditation. Even a hot shower or bath can help manage stress. Managing stress or anxiety during the day can keep it from burdening you at night and keeping you awake.
Exercise is also a way to manage stress, and it is a critical way to improve sleep quality and health in general. The CDC says exercise is among the best things you can do for your brain and body, and there are few lifestyle choices that have the same benefits as exercise.
Move for at least 30 minutes a day to improve brain function, reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and some cancers, strengthen bones and organs, manage chronic conditions, and increase the chance of living longer.
Anything from weight lifting, playing sports, yoga or pilates, or even just walking can harness these benefits. Exercise also drastically improves sleep quality, but remember to keep your hygiene in mind. Never get into your bed before bathing after an exercise! A full day of energy expenditure will prepare the body for sleep when the time comes.
At times when the brain and body are feeling drowsy and drained, caffeine is a great tool. Coffee, tea, soda, or other forms help us wake up in the morning and stay alert throughout the day. It can be dangerous when overconsumed, though. Especially as the day’s end gets closer, drastically cut back or completely cut out the amount of caffeine consumed. The effects can last three to seven hours, so even a little caffeine midway through the day can prevent a restful night.
Nicotine, alcohol, and even some over-the-counter drugs can also stand in the way of a restful night. There is a common misconception that these ailments help sleep. Especially alcohol, which is a depressant that slows the nervous system. These drugs can help a person fall asleep faster but they prevent a full sleep cycle. This means a person is not getting the quality sleep they need to be rested and healthy.
Nicotine and some over-the-counter medications (like sleeping pills and painkillers) can actually have permanent effects on the brain when consumed too often. Additionally, nicotine can easily stick to your skin, and if smoking or vaping in your room, your bed sheets and pillows decrease sleep quality. Addictions to these substances happen when they interrupt channels in the brain that send messages and chemicals to the body. The brain stops focusing on routines necessary for high-quality sleep and a healthy lifestyle. Instead, it just focuses on consuming more of the substance.
Sleep hygiene habits continue into the evening as the day winds down. Several are similar to the important habits during the day; others are unique to the evening hours.
Use dim lights to wind down in the evening, ideally warm lamps or candles. The blue light from screens on phones, tablets, televisions, and other devices spurs brain activity, making it harder to fall asleep. At least an hour before bedtime, try powering down, turn on warm lighting, and spend time journaling, reading, or another soothing activity. Red light is known to increase skin hygiene and assist your body in getting ready for sleep.
It is important to familiarize your brain and body with a consistent evening schedule. Your brain and body learn to respond to certain cues and prepare for a long night of rest. The routine can begin anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours before bedtime. Personalize this routine with your own preferences, but a few things to incorporate can be relaxing music, meditation, a soothing bath, a skincare routine, or even light movement like yoga or general stretching.
Create a soothing and comfortable space that helps the body relax and the brain enters into a fulfilling sleep cycle. Light is the key element for a strong sleep environment, so a dark room with only soft or warm lighting is best. Temperature is another main factor. Cool air between 60°F and 67°F is optimal.
Finish off the space with a high-quality, hand-picked mattress. A mattress designed specifically for your needs and your body will massively influence the body’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Consider factors like your body’s weight, length, and health as you decide which mattress is best.
The Mattress World Northwest team offers expert knowledge from seasoned professionals to help each client find the right mattress for their needs.
Mattress World Northwest has 16 different store locations in Oregon, making a visit easy and convenient. Visit our website to browse our available mattresses, then come see us in person to try them for yourself.
High-quality sleep is critical for your immune system, weight, and risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiac disease. It also improves memory, comprehension, and problem-solving skills. Follow these daily and nightly steps to develop sleep hygiene and create a better lifestyle.
While you can't go wrong with any of our mattresses, here are a few factors you'll want to consider before making a purchase: your sleep position (and if you have a partner, theirs as well), the size of the space, and a price point. If you have any questions, rest easy knowing that our team is happy to help you find that perfect fit.
|Twin||38″ wide x 75″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|Twin XL||38″ wide x 80″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|Full||54″ wide x 75″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|Queen||60″ wide x 80″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|King||76″ wide x 80″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|Cal King||72″ wide x 84″ long x 9.25″ tall|
|Split King (2pk)||38″ wide x 80″ long x 9.25″ tall|
Mattress World Northwest makes it easy to choose the right foundation for your space and lifestyle.
Reliable support for your boxspring and mattress.