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Sleep hygiene: All You Need To Know To Train Your Brain For Sleep

Sleep hygiene: All You Need To Know To Train Your Brain For Sleep

Sleep. It's the thing we all probably need way more of but have trouble fully grasping every night. You know how it goes— those tossing and turning hours where you just can't seem to drift off no matter how hard you try. Where you wake up feeling exhausted, irritable, and like you could just lay down and sleep for another 10 hours.

If this sounds familiar, don't worry— you're not alone. Sleep deprivation effects on the brain are much more common than you may realize. In fact, studies show that 1 in 3 people don't get enough sleep.

But what exactly is "enough sleep," anyway?

Woman Covering Her Eyes

The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aged 18-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. And while this may seem like a lot, there are several benefits to getting enough shut-eye— including reducing stress levels, improving memory, and even helping to prevent weight gain.

And if your next thought is to do an internet search for "how to sleep better," the good news is, that we can train our brain for better sleep. Just like we can form habits around our diet and exercise routines, we can do the same with our sleep hygiene.

It's called sleep training.

That's right, our brains too deserve a good workout now and again to function at their best, and a regular sleep routine is a perfect way to keep them ticking over nicely.

So just like brushing your teeth before bed, here are some sleep training methods – like your very own sleep hygiene tips – you can use to train your brain for better sleep:

1. Keep a regular sleep schedule

One of the most important things you can do for your sleep health is to keep a regular sleep schedule. Just like our bodies need routine and consistency with our eating and exercise habits, the same goes for sleep.

Creating a regular sleep schedule means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends and days off. This may seem like a difficult feat to achieve, but it's important to stick to it as best you can. And over time, you will find yourself naturally falling into a regular sleep schedule rather than relying on blaring alarms to wake you up every day.

2. Establish a bedtime routine

Another way to help train your brain for sleep is to establish a bedtime routine. This could involve winding down for 30 minutes before sleep with some calming activities such as reading or taking a bath.

Your bedtime routine should be relaxing, and avoid any stimulating activities that could keep you awake, such as watching television or using your phone.

3. Keep a sleep diary

Keeping a sleep diary is a helpful way to track your sleep patterns and see how different factors might be affecting your rest. Note down how many hours you sleep each night, how easily you fall asleep, and how often you wake up during the night.

You can also use your sleep diary to identify any potential sleep problems, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. And once you've identified a problem, you can then start to look for solutions and make changes to your sleep hygiene habits that fit your lifestyle.

4. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake

Caffeine and alcohol are two substances that can have a big impact on our sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep us awake, so it's best to avoid drinking coffee or tea late in the day.

Alcohol, on the other hand, might make us feel drowsy at first but can disrupt our sleep later on in the night. So it's best to also limit how much alcohol we drink before bed.

5. Get enough exercise

Regular exercise is a great way to improve our overall health, including our sleep health. Exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, two common causes of sleep problems.

But it's important to avoid exercising close to bedtime as this can keep us awake. So if you are going to exercise, aim to finish your workout at least a few hours before you plan on going to sleep.

6. Create a relaxing environment

Our bedrooms should be a haven for sleep, so it's important to make sure they are as relaxing and comfortable as possible.

To create a sleep-friendly environment, start by ensuring your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Things like earplugs or an eye mask can be used if outside noise or light is an issue. You might also want to consider using a diffuser with calming essential oils such as lavender or chamomile. Or you can even play some light sleep music like calm, ambient nature sounds to help you drift off.

7. Practice relaxation techniques

Committing to different mindful relaxation techniques that work best for you can be very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety levels.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to our thoughts and feelings in the present moment without judgment. And this can be practiced through mindful movement activities such as meditation or yoga.

Progressive muscle relaxation, for example, involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body, starting with the toes and working our way up to the head. This can help to release any tension we're holding in our bodies and calm our minds.

8. Limit screen time before bed

Using screens such as phones, laptops, and TVs before bed can disrupt our sleep in several ways. This is a big one, especially if you are having trouble getting into deep rem sleep. The blue light emitted from screens can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy.

Screens can also stimulate our brains and make it harder to wind down before sleep. So it's best to avoid using any screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

You see, becoming a good sleeper doesn't happen overnight, and making these changes can be tough at first. It can take some time for new habits to become ingrained, so it's important to be patient and keep at it even if we don't see results immediately. But if you stick with these sleeping tips, you'll soon be on your way to better sleep!

And while you're here, I would like to tell you about one final secret ingredient to getting the best sleep of your life. It's the Delta Sleep system, and it combines the power of delta waves, guided audio, and soothing music to help you fall asleep fast and effortlessly. This triple-layered technology allows you to simply press play while the audio does all of the work so that YOU can focus on falling and staying asleep. So go here now to get your hands on Delta Sleep: The Ultimate Sleep Meditation System and get ready to drift off into a sweet slumber in minutes or less.


Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.

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