As the months get warmer, our bedrooms become more humid, increasingly tepid and generally less comfortable. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Discover how to maximise the quality of your sleep with our Sleep Hygiene Checklist.
What is sleep hygiene?So what exactly do we mean by good sleep hygiene?
Essentially, sleep hygiene refers to the combination of your environment and your behaviour during your sleep. And it doesn’t necessarily mean how clean your sleep is. While a clean environment is a big part of it, it also embodies your routine leading up to bedtime, lifestyle factors, your day-to-day habits and your bedroom itself.
Ignoring your sleep hygiene can lead to a lack of good quality sleep, which has several drawbacks to your overall health. But how do you know if you have bad sleep hygiene? For some people, it means they have trouble falling asleep at the right time each day. For others, it means they fall asleep at the wrong time - for instance, are you nodding off at work or taking naps on the sofa during the day? A good way to tell how hygienic your sleep routine is, is to ask yourself: how do you feel in the afternoon on a weekday? If you’re sluggish, groggy and drifting off, the odds are your sleep hygiene needs a boost.
A lack of quality sleep can affect your mood, lower your pain threshold, increase your blood pressure, flare up any existing allergies and generally make you feel less productive and alert. It can even interfere with your immune system, elevating your chances of getting sick. If you’re experiencing any of these feelings, our Sleep Hygiene Checklist will help to put you on the right track.
1. Sleep for 8 hours per-night
This is easier said than done for many of us, but don’t be tempted to hit the snooze button in the morning or lie in for longer than necessary. Be strict with yourself and eventually, you’ll likely wake up naturally without the help of an alarm (although it’s still always a good safety net). If you wake up - and actually get up - at the same time every day, your body will adjust to a routine and you’ll start feeling fatigued at the right time.
2. Go to bed at the same time each day
When the evenings get lighter, it’s easy to stay up later. But the reason for going to sleep at the same time each night is that your brain releases melatonin about 30 minutes before it thinks you want to go to sleep. So if you stick to it, you’ll find it’s less of a challenge to doze off.
3. Use your bedroom for sleep – not work
If you work from home, it might be tempting to cosy up in your duvet for an 8-hour shift on your laptop, but if you never leave your bedroom, your brain won’t be able to differentiate between your sleep environment and any other setting. Training your brain to associate your bed with sleep is the trick.
4. Give your bedroom a re-vamp
If your sleep hygiene is suffering, it could be down to where you’re sleeping. Quality sleep requires healthy regulation of the nervous system, which is harder if you're uncomfortable. Other factors that can contribute to this can be the temperature, lighting, noise and any odours in your bedroom. To combat this, you first need to look at your bedding. Is it natural? Organic? Does it regulate body temperature to keep your body feeling ‘just right’ throughout the night? Is it hypoallergenic? If your answer to any of these questions is no, you should consider introducing wool to your bedroom. Wool bedding encapsulates all of these benefits, helping you to achieve good sleep hygiene with one simple change.
5. Wash your bedding
It sounds obvious, but a lot of synthetic bedding becomes limp and lifeless after a few washes, so it can be tempting to only wash your covers and be done with it. However, odours and night sweats are heightened in the summer, and can still have an impact on your duvet and pillows. Our range of washable wool bedding gives you a sleep solution that stands the test of time, keeping you – and your bed – as clean as possible. This also promotes positive sleep and skin health. If you suffer from allergy flare ups or bad skin, a natural, washable pillow can be a life changer.
Find more sleep hygiene tips below and see how many you can confidently check off before bed.
The Sleep Hygiene Checklist highlights a variety of simple ways to switch up your habits. If you need more information on a specific sleep problem, you can find more guidance at our Sleep Health and Advice Hub. Ready to improve your sleep hygiene? Build your custom bedding bundle today.