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Today: Is Talking About Sleep Hygiene

How often do you talk about sleep hygiene with your friends? Your family? Strangers on the internet? Or even quietly to yourself when no one is around? Unfortunately most people aren't talking about this very important topic. But they should be. Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep are some of the biggest threats to human health today. And if you aren't talking about your sleep hygiene, then you're not really doing anything to fix the problem.

But fixing your sleep hygiene issues is easier than you might think. Sleep hygiene is basically a series of simple habits you do throughout the day which help you sleep better and deeper at night. If you want to learn more about sleep hygiene and even get some healthy hygiene tips, just keep reading. We'll be happy to share our expert knowledge with you to help you get a better night's rest.

Sleep Hygiene

Breaking Down Sleep Hygiene

The best way to fix your sleep hygiene problems is to come up with the simplest, easiest fixes which are realistically achievable for you. If you get really good at your sleep hygiene, you can eventually move on to more advanced tactics in the future. But let's just focus on the basics for now.

Basic Daily Light Exposure for Better Sleep

For tens of thousands of years, the human body has changed and adapted to its environment in order to live its best life. One of these adaptations is called the circadian rhythm: waking with the rise of the sun and falling asleep once it gets dark outside. But there are many biological reasons why this feels so natural. Blue light from the visible light spectrum, once it hits your eyes, stimulates the brain to stop producing melatonin and start producing wakefulness hormones. That's why people feel awake in the morning and also why they have trouble sleeping in bright light.

You can use natural light to improve your sleep hygiene in one of two ways:

  1. You can expose yourself to more natural light during the day to reap the hormonal, energy-boosting benefits
  2. You can decrease your exposure to bright, blue light from electronics (TV, computer, smartphone, etc.) so that your body produces melatonin when it gets dark

Ideally, you should be doing both. But modern life often prevents us from doing what we should. If you spend all day in an office, it's hard to expose yourself to the sun. If you spend all night binging Netflix shows, it's difficult to protect yourself from blue light exposure. But you can do simple things like take a walk outside on your lunch break or wear some anti blue light glasses in the evening. These small changes can make a big difference in the long run.

Basic Exercise Techniques for Better Sleep

There are virtually no downsides to exercise as long as you do it safely. It helps you burn calories and build muscle - but did you also know it could help you get better sleep? Our health and wellness experts here at TalkVita were very excited and surprised to learn the news. It makes sense though. Little kids are constantly running around and exercising and shouting and bouncing off the walls - but they sleep like babies when it's time to lie down. Exercise can do something similar for you as an adult. You can try:

  • Simple bodyweight exercises in your chair at work
  • That outdoor walk on your lunch break can serve a dual purpose
  • Or take that walk after dinner around your neighborhood instead
  • Any other physical activity which you can squeeze into your life

It doesn't take much exercise to make a difference in your nightly sleep. But you won't know how well it works for you until you try it!

Basic Dietary Changes Which Improve Sleep Quality

Even if you are at a healthy weight and you are perfectly happy with your shape, it doesn't hurt to keep track of what you're eating. Paying more attention to your macronutrient and micronutrient profiles is a great way to optimize your health and avoid nutritional deficiencies. But meal timing is also important. Fasting, for example (fasting is any period of time 8 hours or longer in which you do not consume calories) is great for things like building muscle, having more energy, mental clarity, and, yes, getting better sleep at night. It works even better when you combine fasting with exercise. Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to eating better for higher-quality sleep:

  • Do drink caffeinated beverages if you need them, but don't drink any within 6-8 hours of bedtime
  • Don't eat spicy food before bed; the pain from indigestion and heartburn can keep you awake
  • Do eat a more moderate balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats
  • Don't get most of your calories from carbs as this can cause sugar crashes and drain your energy throughout the day
  • Do eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. The less processed foods you eat, the easier it will be to balance your hormones so that you can produce more melatonin at night
  • Don't eat too close to bedtime. It'll spike your stress hormones in the middle of the night, interfering with REM and deep, restorative delta sleep

See, a good diet isn't all that complicated. It only takes a few simple changes to improve your sleep and your overall health.

Basic Changes to Your Sleeping Environment

To get the best sleep, you need to create the best sleep bedroom. In order to do that, you should do some (or all) of the following:

  • Get your bedroom temperature down as close to 68° Fahrenheit as you can get
  • Make the room as dark as possible with blackout curtains or a sleep mask
  • Train your pets to sleep in their own bed, preferably somewhere outside of your bedroom
  • Get your electronics out of the bedroom (TV and computer especially) and turn your smartphone face down on your bedside table if you absolutely cannot sleep without it

Between eating right, getting a little more exercise, rearranging your bedroom, and spending a little more time outside during the prettiest parts of the day, there are many very small, simple changes you can make to create a better sleep hygiene routine. The better your sleep hygiene routine is, the better your sleep will be. You'll fall asleep faster, you'll sleep soundly through the night, and your sleep will be deeper and more restorative. But don't thank it's just yet.

Use Our TalkVita Expertise to Really Improve Your Sleep Health

We here at TalkVita pride ourselves on the work we do to provide free, factual information to people like you who are struggling with their sleep. We believe everyone should have access to this information. Knowledge is truly empowering and transformative if you use it in a positive way. Between the free knowledge we provide and the well-researched supplements we offer our customers, we are confident that we are your one-stop-shop for the best possible sleep hygiene experience.