Do you ever lie in bed and stare at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep?
Consider your sleep hygiene and how your habits may prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need if you need better sleep.
Let’s talk about sleep hygiene and how adjusting your daytime and nighttime routines can help you get better rest.
What exactly is the definition of “sleep hygiene?”
In this context, the term “sleep hygiene” refers to regular, restful sleep practices. Getting enough good sleep is essential to maintaining proper mental and physical health and high quality of life, which is why practicing good sleep hygiene is vital.
The quality of your sleep may be affected by your actions throughout the day, not just before bedtime. Many factors besides what you eat and drink and when you do it impacts your sleep quality.
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Here are a few more ideas to get you started.
10 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Rest
If you have trouble sleeping, there are things you can do during the day and right before bed that will help. Developing good sleep hygiene involves committing to a series of measures that have been shown to increase the likelihood of a restful night’s sleep.
Here are ten ways to improve your sleep hygiene and get a better night’s rest.
1. Stick to a regular bedtime routine.
Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule (including on weekends). This can help establish a regular sleep-wake program by reinforcing your body’s sleep cycle (internal clock). Similarly, maintaining a routine can help you feel more alert during the day and avoid daytime sleepiness. Make sure that whatever time you choose to go to bed each night, you’ll be able to get a full night’s sleep of 7 or 8 hours.
2. Establish and maintain a soothing pre-bedtime ritual.
Get ready for sleep with the help of a soothing routine before bed. And if you stick to the same way every night, your body will learn to associate that routine with sleep. You could find that you sleep more quickly after doing this. Start your routine between 30 and 60 minutes before bedtime for the best results. Whatever helps you unwind the most is fine, as long as it doesn’t involve anything that gives off blue light. Here are a few suggestions:
- Soak in a hot tub or take a long, relaxing shower. Water has a calming effect at the moment, and the subsequent drop-in body temperature can induce sleepiness.
- If you’re feeling tense in your muscles, try some gentle stretching.
- If you need to relax your body and mind, try meditating for a few minutes.
- Listening to music designed to relax the mind and help the listener focus on their breathing can be very effective.
- Take some time to read a book instead of using a digital reader.
- Stay away from emotional conversations and work if you can help it.
3. Put away your electronic devices at night.
The blue light emitted by electronic devices like your phone has decreased melatonin production. The sleep-promoting hormone melatonin regulates how and when you sleep. Falling asleep can be more challenging when melatonin levels are low.
Blue-light emitting devices can also serve as a diversion, helping to keep the brain active—possibly negatively impacting sleep quality. Even if you don’t use it right before bed, having it in the room can affect your sleep quality.
In the middle of the night, you might be startled awake by a message notification, an alarm buzzing, or a light’s sudden illumination.
4. Exercise your body regularly.
If you want better sleep and health overall, try doing 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. And since exercising in natural light has improved sleep quality, doing so outdoors may have even more significant benefits
It’s okay if you can’t go outside. Some research suggests that regular exercise, even indoors, can improve sleep quality. You should stop working out within two hours of going to bed. This may make it more challenging to get to sleep because it raises your core temperature and energy levels. Consider stretching or practicing yoga in the evening if you want to stay active.
5. Avoid getting too much caffeine.
Caffeine’s after-effects can linger in the body for three to seven hours. In other words, you may find that your afternoon coffee keeps you awake and alert for longer than you’d like.
Caffeine is generally best consumed in the morning, but everyone has a different tolerance to caffeine, so don’t take that as a hard and fast rule.
Some people can keep drinking until the afternoon, while others must stop much earlier if they want to sleep quickly. Limiting your caffeine intake may make you more sensitive to its effects.
6. Improve your sleeping conditions to get the rest you need.
Falling asleep and staying asleep might be easier in a cool, dark, and quiet room. Most people sleep best at a temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 and 19.4 degrees Celsius) in their bedrooms.
Make sure you have a soft, supportive mattress, fluffy pillows, and clean sheets to sleep on. In general, it’s going to be easier to get to sleep and stay asleep if you’re not in any discomfort. In search of advice? Check out our shop, stocked with mattress and pillow suggestions approved by our editors and verified by our experts.
A good pair of earplugs can help you get a restful night’s sleep even if you have noisy neighbors or are a light sleeper. In addition, if light enters your bedroom too early, you may want to use blackout curtains or an eye mask to ensure an utterly dark sleeping environment.
7. Reserve the bed for sleeping and making love.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of multitasking in bed when you have a plush mattress and plenty of pillows. However, your bed should be reserved for sleeping and sexual activity only. A solid mental association between your bed and sleep will help you drift off faster.
Even though reading is often done to wind down before bed, any activity that keeps your mind active can prevent you from falling asleep. Try reading on the couch for a while as an alternative to reading in bed.
8. Only sleep when you’re exhausted.
Don’t lie in bed and toss and turn if you aren’t sleepy. Get some rest by engaging in a relaxing activity until you feel tired, and turn it in. Get out of bed if you’re still awake after 20 minutes. You might get frustrated if you’re trying to sleep and finding that you can’t, which will only prolong your insomnia.
The best way to get back to sleep after getting up is to do something relaxing, like reading on the couch.
9. Don’t nap as much, if at all possible.
It can be more challenging to get to sleep at night if you keep napping during the day, making you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. In case you need a nap:
- Limit yourself to no more than 30 minutes.
- Staying awake in the afternoon and not sleeping.
- The extent to which napping affects older adults’ sleep patterns more than younger people is unknown.
10. Relax before going to sleep.
Waking up at 3 a.m. because your mind won’t stop racing with worries is entirely normal. If you want to stop stressing out and losing sleep over it:
Before turning in for the night:
- Jot down your concerns on paper.
- Make a note if your list of things to do gives you anxiety.
- Focus on getting tomorrow and the rest of the week’s tasks out of the way first.
The benefits of a weighted blanket for anxiety and sleeplessness have been studied and found to be similar to those of deep-pressure therapy.
If you’re having trouble relaxing your mind before bed, try meditating.
To Sum Things Up
Good sleep hygiene refers to practices that promote quality rest.
The quality of your sleep can be affected by your actions throughout the day and before bed.
Some people have trouble falling or staying asleep, but there are many ways to get to sleep quickly and stay asleep for long periods. The vast majority of them have to do with bettering your sleeping habits.
Sleep quality can be improved in several ways, including by sticking to a schedule, having a relaxing bedtime routine, exercising regularly, keeping your bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature, and watching what you eat and drink.
Talk to your doctor again if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. They’ll be able to diagnose the root of your sleep issues and treat them accordingly.