Having good sleep hygiene is closely connected to mental and physical health.
Lack of sleep is a problem that is increasingly affecting more people. In the United States, for example, a third of the adult population sleeps less than the recommended amount of time, according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The institute clarifies, however, that sporadic nights of little sleep are different from a prolonged pattern of irregular sleep. While a bad night of sleep can lead a person to be distracted and tired the next day, a constant lack of a good sleep can affect a person’s quality of life and lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and even certain types of cancer.
The following are a few tips that can help an individual have a better night’s sleep:
- A routine to relax. Have a regime to get ready for bed. For example, stay away from computer, TV or mobile screens 30 minutes before you go to bed, as the artificial lights they emit signal the brain that it is still active. Intense exercise and alcoholic beverages also make it hard to fall asleep.
- Keep a regular schedule. Going to bed every day at the same time is a fundamental aspect of regulating your sleep.
- Get sunlight. Even on your days off, get out of bed and spend time outside. Scientists say that daylight is as important to health as food and good sleep. One strategy to getting good rest is to expose yourself to natural light at least 30 minutes a day and gradually turn down the lights at home before going to sleep.