Sleep hygiene is a term that doctors and wellness experts use to refer to a collection of good nighttime habits that typically lead to better, more restful sleep.
If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep troubles, you’ve likely read all of the more popular tricks like, “no screens after 9 p.m.,” or “only use your bedroom for sleep.” I’ve read dozens of “sleep hygiene” articles, and almost all of them rehash the same tips with one or two new things thrown in.
My goal is always to offer you the best, most useful information possible, so I won’t be putting a new spin on old tricks. While my tips aren’t totally novel, I don’t see them talked about very often, so I think they’re worth sharing!
I do all of these things at night, and I’ve definitely noticed that my sleep quality has improved. So, let’s dive into my three favorite tips to take your bedtime routine to the next level.
- Try a CBD + melatonin blend at night.
I’ve used CBD and melatonin separately, but they are truly a dream team when you combine them as a part of your nighttime routine.
CBD is a wonderful and versatile supplement that can help with a number of issues, but it can be particularly helpful for relaxation. As for melatonin, on its own, it has never been enough to make me fall asleep, but I know plenty of people who use it successfully! The real magic of melatonin for me is combining it with the relaxing effects of CBD. I take a dose about an hour before I plan to lay down at night, and I always feel pleasantly drowsy by the time that hour is up.
While dosing varies from one person to the next, I highly recommend Blush Wellness for their gummies and tinctures. The Serenity blend gummies feature 25mg of CBD and 3g of melatonin, and my sleep is consistently better whenever I take one before bed.
Serenity Gummies, $48
- Invest in a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets have recently become very trendy, but the truth is that they’re a simple and legitimate way to calm your mind, soothe your body and promote more restful sleep.
While there is plenty of research into how weighted blankets can be beneficial for people with ADHD, autism and anxiety, there is less available research into how they can benefit people with chronic insomnia. However, if you’re experiencing poor sleep, there is no question that adding a weighted blanket to your bed will induce calm and restfulness in your body.
There are many great options for weighted blankets, but it’s important to choose one that’s right for your needs. Experts recommend starting with a minimum of 10 percent of your body weight (e.g. – If you weigh 180 pounds, an 18-pound blanket is the right starting point). I prefer a heavier weight (closer to 20 percent of my body weight), but you should make sure that you don’t feel constricted or have trouble breathing under the weight of your blanket.
YnM Weighted Blanket, $79.70
- Use your smartphone to track your sleep.
We let our phones improve our lives in pretty much every other area, so why should sleep be an exception? There are smartphone apps for iPhone and Android that will not only track the quality of your sleep (and show you in graph form!), but they will also help you wake up in a gentle, gradual way so that you feel more refreshed in the morning.
My personal favorite (and the one I always recommend first) is an app called Sleep Cycle. There are both free and premium versions of the app, but both give you the ability to analyze your sleep.
It tracks snoring, REM sleep, overall sleep quality and how consistent you are with your sleep and wake times. The premium version also lets you take detailed notes about your day, your mood and what your bedtime routine was like so that you can start to notice patterns for good and bad sleep days.
Having this much sleep data is invaluable for anyone trying to improve their sleep hygiene, and the gradual wake-up window for the alarm is a feature that I didn’t know I needed until I tried it.
Better Sleep Leads to a Better Life
Sleep hygiene isn’t always easy to tackle, and it can be difficult to stick with good habits no matter how long you’ve been doing them. Hopefully, these three fresh tips can help to start you down the path to better, healthier sleep.
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Model Photo Credit: Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash