Sleep hygiene is the term used for the routine practiced to help get a good night’s sleep. Here are three sleep hygiene habits to help you drift off into a sweet slumber.
1. Reduce screen time
Yes, binge-watching your favourite TV show on your tablet, surfing the web or tapping away on your phone or laptop before bed makes it harder to fall asleep. This is because you are stimulating your brain’s cognitive and electrical activity by firing up your neurons, which prevents you from calming down into a restful state, ready for a good night’s sleep. More than that, the blue light emitted from a device’s screen at bedtime can signal to the brain that it is still daytime, which reduces the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and helps you drift off to sleep. Give yourself at least half an hour of gadget-free time before bed to rest your brain and signal to the body that it is time to sleep. Avoid temptation by making your bedroom a gadget-free zone, as charging your phone in your room can also disrupt sleep through text and alert sounds and the screen lighting up while you sleep.
2. Calm down
It’s important to switch your nervous system from a state of high-activity into rest and restore mode. One way to do this is to have a hot shower or soak in a warm bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil or a cup of epsom salts to relax your muscles. Be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly and gently massage in a beauty-boosting hydrating formula. You can also try meditating for 10 to 20 minutes before going to bed or lying with your legs up the wall for five to ten minutes to relieve tired leg muscles. Why not try restorative yoga or deep belly breathing exercises to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to restore a calm state.
3. Avoid alcohol
A nightcap before bed can make you feel drowsy and can even help you to fall asleep faster, yet drinking before bed can disrupt your deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, causing a lighter, less refreshing sleep. This is because drinking alcohol before bed initially produces good slow-wave delta sleep patterns but also increases your active alpha-wave patterns at the same time, which gives mixed signals to the brain, resulting in non-restful and disrupted sleep. What’s more, the effects of this warring brain activity cancels out many of the regenerative and beauty benefits of sleep and may be the reason you wake up tired and suffer daytime drowsiness and decreased concentration.
The solution? Avoid drinking alcohol at least three to four hours before bedtime and instead reach for a soothing non-alcoholic drink, like SLEEP Inner Beauty Powder.
How do you nurture your beauty sleep routine?