Sleep Hygiene Guide, Healthy Sleep Patterns to Overcome Difficulty Sleeping

Most people need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. But in fact, only a handful of people are able to meet their daily sleep needs due to a messy lifestyle and sleep pattern. Even though lack of sleep has long been associated with various serious health problems, ranging from heart attacks, strokes, to diabetes. Especially for men, lack of sleep can reduce testosterone levels and lower sperm count.

Don't want to deal with some of the horrific things above? This is the time for you to start changing your sleeping habits and patterns. Introduce sleep hygiene, a healthy sleep pattern that can help you sleep better. 

What is sleep hygiene sleep pattern?

Sleep hygiene is a clean sleep pattern. The point here is not to go to bed feeling clean and fresh after bathing and brushing your teeth, but rather to adopt healthier sleeping habits to clean up all kinds of disturbances that usually make you sleep deprived or sleepless. 

Sleep hygiene helps improve messy sleep hours and overcome sleep disorders such as insomnia. This healthy sleep pattern helps build better sleep habits and makes you more disciplined and consistent in living it, to reduce the various negative effects of sleep deprivation. 

Steps to do sleep hygiene 

Sleep hygiene is campaigned by health professionals to remind people to prioritize sleep. A good night's sleep is important for maintaining a healthy body from within. 

Here's how to do sleep hygiene. 

1. Limit the consumption of food and drinks before bed

Avoid eating large portions before bed. Eating heavy meals, fatty or fried foods, spicy dishes, citrus fruits, and carbonated drinks too close to bedtime can trigger indigestion for some people. Lying down after eating can cause the acid to rise back up into your throat, causing heartburn and a burning throat that makes you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. 

Also avoid consuming caffeine and nicotine can last for several hours when taken 3 hours before bedtime, so they can disrupt your sleep until the residue is rinsed out of the body. Many people may be aware that only drinks like soda, tea, and coffee contain caffeine, but foods like chocolate also contain caffeine. 

2. Sleep and wake up at the same time

Getting to bed on time is one of the most important first steps if you want to start sleeping more soundly. If you are used to sleeping regularly, your body will also get used to it. As much as possible schedule bedtime and wake up at the same time (+/- 20 minutes) every day, even on holidays though. For example, if you need to get up at 6am then you should be going to bed around 11pm.

By adhering to a regular sleep schedule every day, your body becomes lighter, warmer, and the hormone cortisol is released more regularly, giving you an energy kick to move. The effect of repaying the lack of sleep during the weekdays by sleeping more on the weekends will be more harmful to your body's metabolic functions. 

3. Limit naps

Napping isn't really a good way to make up for a truncated night's sleep. For people whose sleep patterns are already messed up, napping doesn't help you at all. Napping actually makes it difficult for you to fall asleep at night. 

However, if the situation requires you to take a short break, limit the nap to a maximum of 30 minutes and take it before 3 pm. A short nap of 20-30 minutes can help improve mood, alertness, and performance. 

4. Create a special ritual before bed

Make time for bed preparation for 90 minutes before your bedtime. For example, if you know you're supposed to go to bed at 11 p.m., stop any strenuous physical activity at 9:30 p.m., or sooner if you can. 

Use this time to take a warm bath/bath, drink milk, meditate, read a book, or do yoga stretching. A warm bath or light exercise a few hours before bed can raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy when your body temperature drops again. Research has shown shown that drowsiness is associated with a drop in body temperature.

Also use the remaining time to prepare all your needs the next day, including your work clothes, lunch and breakfast, to avoid the stress of being overwhelmed in the morning. 

5. Create a comfortable sleeping environment 

Make your bedroom the ideal place to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a dark, cool, and quiet place. The ideal room temperature for a good night's sleep is 20-23 Celcius. Use earplugs if you can't sleep in a noisy environment. 

Try not to use your bedroom for anything other than sleep and sex, so your body gets used to associating the bedroom with rest. Keep computers, cell phones, TVs and other electronic devices out of your reach. Bright rays of light from electronic devices work to mimic the nature of the sun's natural light. As a result, the body's biological clock perceives this light as a signal that it is still morning, and therefore the production of melatonin (a hormone that triggers sleep) is disrupted. 

6. Regular exercise

Exercise generates energy and also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Ultimately, exercising during the day can help you sleep well at night. The post-exercise drop in body temperature helps cool the body, which makes drowsiness come on more quickly, making it easier for you to fall asleep. 

On the other hand, exercising too close to bedtime can actually make it hard to fall asleep. Exercise produces endorphins that increase the spirit, making it difficult for the body to start sleeping. Also, your body doesn't have enough time to cool down again. It's best to exercise regularly before 2 p.m. every day to encourage healthier sleep patterns.