Sleep Hygiene, what it is and tips for sleeping well

Sleeping well is part of a healthy life. Increasingly, the quality of sleep has become a priority in many people’s lives, they have been looking for ways to sleep better and Sleep Hygiene provides this possibility through changing habits and adopting a new routine, seeking the best induction and sleep quality.

Sleep Hygiene is the term used to designate a set of rules and practices that seek to prepare and train the body so that bedtime is always a pleasant, pleasant, relaxed moment that provides quality sleep that really rests our body. .

Is there an ideal number of hours of sleep?


The duration of night sleep depends on many factors, as the need for hours of sleep varies from individual to individual. In general, it is recommended that adults get 8 hours of sleep a day, some people manage to have a healthy routine with just 6 hours of sleep a night, while others need 10 hours to face routine challenges. It is important that everyone knows their needs and limits regarding the number of hours of sleep that will bring adequate rest.

sleep in aging


Sleep is essential for body and mind rest. During aging, sleep changes and, depending on daily habits, it can become lighter and its duration also becomes shorter, in most cases. Some reasons can interfere with the quality of sleep of the elderly population, such as the appearance of clinical and psychiatric problems, feeling pain, as well as some medications that can also alter sleep.

Elderly people generally sleep earlier than other adults and get more than 7 consecutive hours of good quality sleep. A healthy elderly person may have naps during the day and most of their concentrated sleep at night. This behavior is normal and should not be seen as a sleep issue. The low repertoire of activities and social isolation, often characteristic of the retirement phase, are psychosocial characteristics that can interfere with sleep quality. The presence of diseases in general, including a higher incidence of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, is one of the factors responsible for the decline in good quality sleep among the elderly.

The importance of sleep hygiene


Sleep is something natural, necessary and expected by our body, so good habits generate quality of life and reflect in our daily lives. In this way, sleep hygiene becomes very relevant in our routine, thus providing us with the benefits of a satisfying and invigorating night’s sleep.

Benefits of adequate sleep


There’s no doubt that a good night’s sleep is invigorating for our bodies, but what are the benefits of having a good quality sleep?


  • Strengthens your immune system:There is a reciprocity relationship, in which sleep helps the immune system to organize, regenerate and prepare for its defense functions, while the immune system participates in sleep induction, in the occurrence of deep sleep (restorative) and in memory consolidation , which occurs while we sleep;
  • Helps to lose fat: 

    The mechanism of hunger and satiety is controlled by a series of hormones, mainly leptin and ghrelin. When having a bad sleep, the release of these hormones changes and increases hunger;

  • Helps you think better:

Sleep deprivation or poor quality has consequences regarding concentration, memory formation and much more. When we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to make mistakes when performing tasks and remember less new information.

  • Improves your mood:

Lack of sleep can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and the stress hormone cortisol. Furthermore, being sleep-deprived can also make us seem more irritable with other people. When we don’t get enough sleep, we show fewer signs of emotion on our faces, speak in lower tones, and even appear angry.

Tips for performing sleep hygiene

To perform good sleep hygiene, we separate some tips for you. It is important to understand which of these suggestions best fit into your routine so that you can follow and benefit from it:

  • Adopt regular sleep schedules: 

Try to go to bed and get up habitually at the same times, even on weekends;

  • Avoid sleeping too much during the day: 

Naps, when possible, can help with mood, but over 30 minutes (at any time of the day) tend to impair night sleep.

  • Avoid staying in bed if you are not sleepy. 

It is best to leave the room if you have been awake longer than you would like. Look for a quiet room to relax outside the bedroom and only return to the sleepy environment;

  • Do physical activity in the morning or afternoon: 

Physical activity is essential for good health and helps you sleep better, but it can cause restlessness. That’s why it’s best to exercise up to six hours before bed.

  • Take a warm bath 2-3 hours before bedtime; 

A warm bath about two hours before bed lowers body temperature and relaxes, helping to induce sleep. Activities such as reading, painting, embroidering, listening to calm music and meditating can also contribute to this.

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks in the evening: 

Coffee, black tea, mate tea, soda and energy drinks contain stimulating substances such as caffeine. So they should be avoided up to five hours before bed.

  • Eat light foods for dinner: 

Heavy, protein-rich foods, when consumed in excess at night, can disrupt sleep. Light dishes with carbohydrates, such as a natural snack, are more suitable for inducing sleep.

  • Avoid alcohol consumption: 

    Although the first effect of alcohol is sedative, after a while it can cause agitation. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid alcohol consumption up to six hours before going to sleep and as a sleep inducer;

  • Leave the environment with little or no light: 

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep, but it can be reduced or interrupted when we are exposed to too much light. Therefore, no screens (TV, smartphone, notebook, tablets, e-readers, etc.) and other objects that emit light. If necessary, use light-blocking masks;

  • Avoid using shortcuts:

Sleeping pills and alcohol can even help reduce stress and fall asleep, but they can get in the way of reaching REM sleep, causing you to get stuck in the early stages and not rest fully. In the case of medications, they can be taken according to the doctor’s prescription to be ingested safely.

Have you been waking up at night?

If you tend to fall asleep easily but then wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep, try following one or more of these calming suggestions. Resist the urge to look at your phone. Not only does the blue light emitted by the device suppress your

natural production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy but can also trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime, making it difficult to fall asleep. Also, watching the clock can increase stress and make it harder to go back to sleep.

Follow the 20 minute rule. If you can’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity (like reading a book or writing in a journal) in dim lighting until you feel sleepy.

Notice what you drink. Both alcohol and caffeine can interfere with sleep, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night. The fix: Avoid coffee later in the day if the caffeine gets to you, and cut back on alcoholic beverages, too.


The post Care for Life.


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