You have may have heard the term "sleep hygiene" making its way around the wellness world over the last couple of years, but what is it, exactly?
Essentially, good sleep hygiene involves creating an environment that is best suited to getting a full, deep night's sleep. It includes things like waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, having a comfortable bedroom environment, a relaxing pre-sleep routine, and staying off devices before bed.
Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to improve your sleep hygiene:
Light a candle
The simple act of lighting a candle is a wonderful evening ritual. Try having it signal the start of wind-down time by stacking it with another one of your habits. For example, maybe you light a candle in the bathroom before you begin washing your face, or light a candle bedside prior to settling in with a nice book.
Diffuse essential oils
Scent is the most powerful of our senses - just think about it can transport you back to a memory when you smell a meal your Grandmother used to make, or the forest floor after a rainstorm. Using scent strategically can act as a transition in your day, signalling to your brain that it's now time to rest.
Experiment with a few different essential oils to find one you like. Then, every night an hour before bed, diffuse the same oil in a diffuser to prepare your body and your mind for sleep.
Get a dimmable bedside lamp
Lighting is another easy way to improve your sleep hygiene. Bright lights do not equal rest or relaxation. Instead of a harsh, cool lightbulb glaring overhead, get a soft warm light for your bedside table that is dimmable to create an environment conducive to winding down for the day.
Buy new linens
There's no better feeling than slipping into clean, crisp, cool linens. If it's been a while since you've purchased a new sheet set, consider getting something luxurious made of organic, natural materials such as cotton or linen with a high thread count to encourage a peaceful night's sleep.
If you find your mind racing instead of shutting off in the evening, create a meditation ritual to practice mindfulness. Look to apps such as Calm, Headspace, or Insight Timer for guided meditations for sleep.
Everyone's routine can be unique - it's about finding the right daily habits and rituals that work for you! Wishing you a great sleep.