Today’s culture of being busy has directly impacted our lives and routines, with sleep often being the first thing we neglect. However, being groggy and propelled by caffeine is certainly no recipe for success.
As the season of new beginnings, Spring is a time of rebirth and rejuvenation. This period of change marks the perfect time to implement good sleep practices and catch more of those elusive z’s.
Our sleep space should be a sanctuary. Although we spend the very first and last moments of our days here, you’d be surprised at how neglected these spaces often are.
The average bed is quite unsanitary, housing colonies of dust mites, dead skin cells and other germs. These harmful allergens can exacerbate symptoms of asthma, eczema, and rhinitis.
Let me introduce you to sleep hygiene.
This term may sound a little silly at first, but practicing good sleep hygiene is not just about washing your sheets. It’s rather a range of conditions necessary to a quality night’s sleep and maintaining your health.
Here’s my top five tips on improving your sleep hygiene this Spring:
1. Keep it clean
Stay on top of your laundry and be sure to wash your sheets at least once a week. By adding in a few drops of Essential Oils into your detergent, you’ll eradicate all traces of those unwanted dust mites. I'd recommend The Goodnight Co.'s Goodnight Blend, it smells divine and will help promote quality sleep.
With dust mite faeces making up 10% of your pillow’s weight, you must wash your pillows at least twice a year. Also, consider investing in allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers.
Finally, vacuum everything - even your mattress and pillows - and dust every week!
2. Create a sleep sanctuary
With a few simple tweaks, you can transform your bedroom into a haven for restful nights.
Ensure your environment is tranquil, relaxing, and minimal. Clutter attracts dust and can be distracting in your sleep space, so only surround yourself with the things that make you happy and relaxed. Soft textures will also create a better environment for sleeping.
3. Keep it cool and dark
As your body prepares for sleep, your temperature naturally drops - therefore cooler temperatures increase the depth of sleep. Dust mites love hot, humid climates, so maintain a bedroom temperature of around 18-22 degrees. Indoor plants can also assist in regulating humidity levels for an optimal night’s sleep.
A dark room signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep, so avoiding artificial light and putting devices down before heading to bed is key. If scrolling though your Insta-feed is part of your current routine, try swapping it out for reading a book or journaling. Trust me, you’ll be snoozing before you know it.
4. Maintain a sleep schedule
Creating and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can do wonders for your mind and body.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, as constantly shifting your sleep and wake cycle puts pressure on your internal clock. This doesn’t mean you have to be up and ready to go seven days a week - curl up with a blanket and read a book, or catch up with a friend over a leisurely breakfast.
Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol right before bed, and eat dinner at least three hours before nodding off.
5. Establish a relaxing bedtime ritual
Shower, wash your face, read a book, meditate, and listen to peaceful music. By creating a relaxing bedtime ritual, your brain knows when you’re starting to prepare for sleep, and sends cues to the rest of your body to power down.
Good sleep hygiene is not something to ‘sleep on’. By following these five simple tips, you’re in for a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep. If you're looking to add some sleep solutions to create your sleep space, visit The Goodnight Co's website and use my code "IKNOWSHEA" for 20% off!