Are you looking for habits for getting enough sleep? If so, you're in the right place! By getting enough sleep, you will feel rested and energised and will be able to get more done throughout the day.
In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about building healthy sleep habits and what you need to do to get a good night's sleep, from developing a bedtime routine to avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Before you fall asleep, let's cover everything there is to know about getting a good night's sleep.
Understanding the Importance of Quality Sleep
The body and mind require sleep to function properly, and it is a fundamental need of every living being. The importance of quality sleep cannot be overstated. People often overlook the significance of sleep and fail to recognise its importance, as well as the importance of creating habits for getting enough sleep.
The negative impacts of sleep deprivation on physical and mental health
Sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health.
Physically, sleep deprivation can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and illnesses. Sleep deprivation has been linked by the UK National Institutes of Health to an increased risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
In terms of mood and cognition, sleep deprivation is detrimental. It can affect work and relationships because it can cause irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
Looking for more ways to improve your overall health and well-being besides getting more sleep? Check out our blog post, "How Simply Moving Benefits Your Mental and Physical Health."
The benefits of getting enough quality sleep
Getting enough quality sleep benefits the body and mind. Cognitive, emotional, and physical functions depend on it.
In addition, it improves mood, reduces stress, and boosts energy. You can reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease by getting enough sleep.
Quality sleep is also essential for maintaining good health and overall well-being, and this can be done by forming the proper habits for getting enough sleep!
The recommended amount of sleep for different age groups
The recommended amount of sleep varies depending on the age group. Here are the general guidelines from the Sleep Foundation for the amount of sleep needed per day:
- Infants (0–3 months): 14–17 hours
- Infants (4–11 months): 12–15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10–13 hours
- School-age children (6–13 years): 9–11 hours
- Teenagers (14–17 years): 8–10 hours
- Young adults (18–25 years): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26–64 years): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65 years and older): 7-8 hours
This is a general guideline, and individual sleep needs may vary. Our health and well-being depend on getting enough sleep and prioritising quality sleep.
Now that you understand why getting enough sleep is so damn important, let's cover how to create a sleep-friendly environment to ensure you are getting enough sleep for optimal creativity and productivity.
Creating a sleep-friendly environment
Creating a sleep-friendly environment is essential for promoting good-quality deep sleep. Here are some tips for creating a conducive sleep environment, a key aspect of getting enough sleep.
Eliminating distractions in the bedroom
Sleeping better requires removing distractions from the bedroom. Blue light from electronic devices interferes with the body's natural production of melatonin. Sleeping in a calming environment can also be achieved by minimizing noise and light sources.
Investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows
For better sleep, invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows. Supportive and comfortable mattresses can relieve pressure points, reduce pain, and improve sleep quality. Investing in quality pillows can also help promote proper spinal alignment and reduce discomfort.
A key element to keep in mind is to choose pillows based on your sleeping position. A thinner pillow may be preferable for back sleepers, while a firmer pillow may be ideal for side sleepers. For more information on this, have a read of this Sleep Doctors article.
Adjusting the temperature and lighting in the room
Getting better sleep requires adjusting the room's temperature and lighting. It's best to remove any bright light sources and sleep in a dark, cool environment. A cooler environment mimics the body's natural drop in core temperature during sleep, so setting the temperature to 60–67 °F (15.6–19.4 °C) can promote sleep. A dark environment can also be achieved by using blackout curtains or shades.
Melatonin production is less affected by red or amber lights, so consider using these colours as night lights.
Using aromatherapy or white noise to create a relaxing atmosphere
Using aromatherapy or white noise can be effective in creating a relaxing atmosphere for better sleep, and this is what the Sleep Foundation recommends. To create a relaxing environment in your bedroom, diffuse lavender, chamomile, and vanilla scents.
Alternatively, white noise can be used to drown out external noise and promote sleep. The use of white noise machines in the bedroom can create a relaxing atmosphere.
With the first step covered, let's dive into how to best establish a consistent sleep schedule.
Establishing a consistent sleep schedule
To promote good-quality sleep, it is essential to establish a consistent sleep schedule. The following tips will help you establish a consistent sleep schedule!
Setting a regular sleep and wake-up time
Setting regular sleep and wake-up times is essential for good sleep hygiene, according to the Mayo Clinic. Our bodies have an internal clock, or circadian rhythm, that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
By going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, we help keep our circadian rhythm in sync. It's important to set a sleep schedule that allows for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Avoiding naps or limiting them to a short duration
Avoiding naps or limiting them to a short duration is important for maintaining good sleep habits. Napping during the day can interfere with the body's natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep at night. If you must nap, it's best to keep it short (20–30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the day.
Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine
Creating a relaxing bedtime routine can help prepare the mind and body for a restful night's sleep. This can include taking a warm bath, reading a book, practising relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, or listening to calming music.
Try to avoid stimulating activities such as using electronic devices or watching TV before bed.
OCCO's Morning Mindset Journal is designed to help you start your day off right, but it can also be used to reflect on your day and unwind before bed. With prompts to set intentions, track gratitude, and reflect on daily wins, the Morning Mindset Journal can help promote positive thinking and reduce stress and anxiety.
By taking a few minutes to complete the journal before bed, you can help calm your mind and prepare for a restful night's sleep. As you'll see, building habits daily can improve your sleep over the long term!
Now let's move onto the topic of managing your daily habits to get enough sleep.
Managing Daily Habits for Better Sleep
Managing daily habits is essential for promoting adequate sleep. To make sure you get enough rest each night, build good habits that will support your overall health and well-being.
Here are some tips for managing your daily habits to improve your sleep:
Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
For better sleep, it is essential to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. At least six hours before bed, avoid consuming caffeine-containing foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, and chocolate.
Even though alcohol may assist you in falling asleep initially, it can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to poor-quality sleep later on.
Limiting screen time before bed
Try to avoid using electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime, and consider using a blue light filter or wearing blue light-blocking glasses if you need to use them.
Exercising regularly, but not too close to bedtime.
Physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are common causes of poor sleep quality. However, exercising too close to bedtime can have the opposite effect, increasing alertness and making it harder to fall asleep.
It's best to finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime to allow your body time to relax.
Eating a balanced diet and avoiding heavy meals before bed
Eating heavy, high-fat, or spicy meals before bed can cause discomfort and digestive problems, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. It's best to avoid eating heavy meals at least two to three hours before bedtime to allow your body time to digest.
Addressing sleep disorders
Sleep disorders, such as restless nights, can have a significant effect on a person's quality of life. Not only can they prevent you from falling asleep and staying asleep, but they can also lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Let's cover some of the common sleep disorders at play:
Identifying common sleep disorders
There are many different types of sleep disorders, each with its own unique set of symptoms and causes.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that is characterised by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, despite having the opportunity and desire to sleep.
It can result in daytime fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Insomnia can be caused by various factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits, caffeine or alcohol consumption, and medical conditions.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. It can be caused by a physical obstruction in the airway or by a signalling problem in the brain. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include daytime fatigue, morning headaches, a dry mouth or sore throat upon waking, and difficulty concentrating.
Restless leg syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological sleep disorder that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. The sensation often occurs in the evening or at night and is characterised by uncomfortable sensations such as itching, tingling, or a creeping feeling in the legs. Moving the legs often relieves these sensations temporarily.
RLS can lead to difficulty falling or staying asleep and can cause daytime fatigue and irritability.
Seeking medical advice and treatment for sleep disorders
If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder, it's important to seek medical advice and treatment from a healthcare professional. Your doctor can perform a physical exam and may recommend a sleep study to help diagnose your condition.
Good sleep habits can ensure quality sleep, removing the need for treatment. Find out how by reading below.
Sticking to Good Sleep Habits for Long-Term Success
Sticking to good sleep habits is crucial for long-term success in maintaining healthy sleep patterns. Once you have established a routine that works for you, it's important to continue practising these habits consistently.
Recognising the benefits of good sleep habits for overall health and well-being
Getting enough high-quality sleep is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. A consistent sleep schedule can help regulate your body's internal clock, leading to better sleep quality and more energy during the day.
According to Harvard University, good sleep habits can also improve mood, memory, and cognitive function, as well as lower the risk of chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Making sleep a priority in daily life
Making sleep a priority in daily life is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. It is important to prioritise sleep over other non-essential activities such as binge-watching television or spending time on social media. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and sticking to it, even on weekends, can help improve the quality of sleep.
Now that you have a good understanding of how to make habits for getting enough sleep, let's cover some of the most frequently asked questions on this subject below.
Frequently Asked Questions
After absorbing all the information presented above, you may still have some lingering questions. In this section, we aim to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about habits for getting enough sleep.
What are some of the best habits for getting enough sleep?
Several habits can help you get enough sleep. Here are the best habits, according to the sleep doctor: Firstly, establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
Secondly, create a sleep-friendly environment by eliminating distractions, investing in a comfortable mattress and pillows, adjusting the temperature and lighting, and using aromatherapy or white noise.
Thirdly, wind down before bed with a relaxing bedtime routine.
Fourthly, manage daily habits such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
How long does it take to form a habit of getting enough sleep?
The amount of time it takes to form a habit of getting enough sleep can vary. Generally, it is believed by Everyday Health that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. However, some research suggests that it can take up to 66 days, or two months.
Should I stick to a consistent sleep schedule on weekends?
While it may be tempting to stay up late and sleep in on weekends, this can disrupt your body's natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep and wake up during the week.
What role does nutrition play in getting enough sleep?
Diet can play an important role in getting enough sleep. Consuming a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients can help regulate the body's natural sleep-wake cycle.
Certain foods, such as cherries, bananas, and nuts, contain natural sleep-promoting compounds that can aid in falling asleep faster and improving the quality of sleep.
You should now have a better understanding of what you need to do to create habits for getting enough sleep.
By establishing healthy sleep habits for getting enough sleep, such as sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing sleep environment, limiting electronic device use before bed, and following a healthy diet, you can increase your chances of getting enough sleep every night.
It takes time to form a habit, so be patient and consistent with your efforts. If you continue to struggle with getting enough sleep, consider speaking with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.
With the right habits, you can enjoy the benefits of a good night's sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energised every day.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or message us on Instagram, and we'll be in touch to help.