Why Good Sleep Hygiene is Essential to Maintaining Good Daily Focus
The quality of your sleep hygiene can have a major impact on your focus with numerous studies reveal that a good night’s sleep is good for the mind and body.
During sleep, the brain is consolidating and processing memories and information, all while boosting its cognitive functions like an attention and creativity. Sleep also helps keep your immune strong, regulate moods, and reduce anxiety.
That would explain why you feel fresh and rejuvenated after 8 hours of sleep but feel cranky, irritable, and fuzzy on just 6 hours or less of shut-eye.
Different people have different requirements to function effectively during the day. One thing to keep in mind though is sleep quality.
If you’re not getting adequate amount of sleep, you’re at risk for health issues including:
- Memory loss
- Chronic stress
- Mood disorder
- Cognitive impairment
- Heart disease
- Heart attacks
- Heart arrhythmia
What is Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep is essential for brain function, therefore you should establish and practice a set of habits that improve your ability to sleep regularly. These series of habits is called sleep hygiene and if you practice them religiously, you can enjoy the benefits of improved focus and concentration.
Sleep Hacking for Focus: 10 Ways to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Consider adding some of these habits into your routine:
1. Keep a consistent sleeping schedule.
Try to wake up and sleep at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.
2. Put your alarm clock as far away from you as possible.
This forces you to get up and turn off your alarm instead of putting it on snooze. Also, not having your phone nearby keeps away the temptation of nerding out on it all night.
3. Limit your naps.
They don’t make up for last night’s lack of sleep but they do help improve mood, alertness, and performance. Just make sure it’s not more than 30 minutes otherwise, you’ll feel groggy.
4. Exercise regularly, preferably in the afternoon.
Physical activity helps wear out the body making you more prone to sleep later.
5. Create a pleasant sleep environment.
That means using your bedroom only for sleep and sex. Invest in a quality mattress and make sure your surrounding is calm, dark, and free of distraction. You want to associate your bedroom with relaxation.
6. Keep your circadian rhythm in line with the external world.
Get as much natural light during the day and limit your exposure to bright light from your TV, laptop, or mobile phone during night time.
7. Avoid eating a large meal before bed time.
Have a light, healthy snack ready in case you are hungry.
8. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Not just coffee but also drinks like tea, coffee, soda, and even chocolate have caffeine in them.
9. Practice therapeutic activities before bed.
Activities such as journal writing, stretching, praying, taking a warm bath, or meditating can help ease the body and mind so it’s prepared for sleep.
10. Take natural remedies and supplements that promote sleep and relaxation.
Popular natural choices include Valerian, Passionflower, Lemon Balm, and California Poppy. There are also supplements for better sleep like melatonin, L-theanine, and magnesium.
A habit change, no matter how small, can mean the difference between a sound sleep and a restless night. Make sleep a priority and your brain will thank you for it.