A quality night's sleep is important for everyone to function at their best throughout their busy day, but most of us neglect to give our sleep routine the care it needs. Here at Family Psychiatry of The Woodlands, we believe that by optimizing your sleep routine and practicing healthy sleep hygiene you can start your day with more energy, alongside decreasing your day-to-day stress and reducing your risk of contracting a variety of illnesses!
We recommend the following practices to have your best night's sleep and preform your best throughout your day:
• Create a bedtime routine that works for you: This will prepare your mind for a restful night of sleep. Creating a consistent routine leading up to the time that you go to bed allows your body to understand that it needs to naturally start winding down from your day. Plan a regimen that works for you and something that will be realistic for you to stick to each night.
• Limit screen use leading up to bedtime: Shut off screens between 2-3 hours before bed time. This will reduce the stress on your eyes and help you begin to relax for a good night's sleep.
• Prepare your Room: We recommend sleeping in a cool, dark environment with as little potential interruption as possible. For young parents this may be easier said than done, but it's important to do what you can with the time you have so you can keep up with you little ones. Removing your phone from your night stand and getting a standard alarm clock may be an easy fix to eliminate interruptions caused by notifications on your phone.
• Get the right gear for you: Invest in a good mattress, pillow, and sheet set that is in your price range. You will spend up to ⅓ of your life in bed, caring for your bodies sleep pattern is just as important as caring for your diet. Find a mattress that works for you! A sleep mask may also benefit you if you are easily woken by minimal light. In addition to light disturbances, ambient noise such as white noise or sounds of nature may also be beneficial to implement in you sleep routine to achieve a successful night’s rest.
• Set a timer: Set your timer in increments of 90 minutes mimics your Circadian Sleep Cycle. Typically, our body’s sleep clock revolves in 90-minute increments, ending in the deepest and most important phase of sleep, REM sleep. In this phase of sleep dreams often occur and it is crucial in the development of memories and retaining knowledge that you have gathered throughout the day.
Finally, take into consideration your partner's sleep hygiene routine. Not everyone requires the same conditions or amount of sleep to function at their best the following day.