- Dr. Nadia Mawji, ND
Sleep Hygiene...What's That?
Sleep hygiene is essentially, your "bedtime routine"....and preparing your body for QUALITY SLEEP and REST in the most effective manner possible - for you!
What's your current bedtime routine? Are you engaging in screen time before bed? Are you eating a late dinner right before bedtime? Do you prefer to exercise right before bed? Hint: All of the above can actually compromise the quality of sleep that you get.
So, here are a few tips to promote healthy sleep:
Limit blue light exposure (screen time from your TV or computer or your phone!) 60-90 minutes prior to bed time (120 minutes, if possible!).
Additionally, avoid watching TV while in your bedroom - this is your place of rest and relaxation!
Avoid eating right before bed
Wind down to help prepare your body for rest. A few examples: reading, stretching/gentle yoga, meditation, etc.
Never go to bed angry. The rumination of thoughts, additional stress and excitatory neurotransmitter impulses can negatively impact cortisol levels and also disrupt your sleep cycle overall
To avoid that second wind of energy between 10-11pm at night, avoid caffeine intake after 2pm and also use any method to "wind down" so that you are not "wired but tired"
Look at the sun first thing in the morning! Why? Because this will optimize your cortisol diurnal pattern. Cortisol also helps regulate our energy throughout the day and also plays a big role in our sleep/wake cycle - i.e. our circadian rhythm!
Establish a bedtime routine that works and is manageable for YOU!
Sleep is incredibly important and really plays a role in stress & cortisol regulation as well. It is important that you wake up rested in the morning.
Please read these 2 blog articles to further round out your knowledge around sleep, stress & hormones!
Stress & Adrenal Dysregulation Part 1: An Introduction
Stress & Adrenal Dysregulation Part 2: Insulin, Cortisol, Thyroid & Other Hormones