Sleep Hygiene Gets Me To Sleep Most Nights Within 20 Minutes
If you are anything like me, the word hygiene conjures up memories of junior high lessons on changing bodies and deodorant. What then does the word mean in relation to sleep?
Sleep hygiene is the concept that it is important to have the correct environment and behaviors in order to get a good sleep. Instead of having a clean body (although that can be part of it), it means to have a clean sleeping environment. It sets up the mind and body for a good nights rest, which can also include falling asleep faster.
I personally don’t follow all the recommendations of sleep hygiene, but I have come up with my own system, and it truly gets me to sleep within 20 minutes. I wanted to take the time to share my system so that any of you who have issues can give it a try. I hope it helps!
One of the recommendations experts will give is to limit screen time prior to bed, such as not using your phone 2 hours proceeding sleep. The truth is that’s not going to happen for most of us that live in the real world. One thing I did discover though is that you can set most phones to a different type of lighting for the evening. On the iPhone it’s simply a matter of going to
Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. By doing this your phone will display warmer tones that may help with sleep. I also make sure my phone is set on Do Not Disturb, which is as easy as Settings > Do Not Disturb. For other types of phones you may need to do a little research.
My first real step is to hop into the shower; this is the signal to my body and brain that it’s time to get cozy and ready for sleep. I like to use sleep scented body washes to add to the experience.
My next step is to continue the coziness with a sleepy smelling mist and lotion. This adds an additional step to my routine, and keeps things pleasantly snug.
After I’m suitably warm and cozied up with great scents, I make sure my bed is ready with blankets. You’ve heard of people with 15 pillows on their bed… well I’m not quite that bad, but I do have a lot going on. I have 3 blankets, a sheet, and 2 preferred pillows. I have so many blankets so that I can choose the exact right one for the temperature, and it makes a big difference!
Next on my list is a short meditation. I use an app called Insight Timer https://insighttimer.com/. It’s free and has hundreds of meditations to choose from. I choose a shorter length sleep meditation, and further drift off.
My last step is mindfulness, which if it is something you haven’t done before may take a little bit of practice. I describe it as clearing the mind and being aware of thoughts and bodily feelings. When a thought comes into my mind I don’t get upset about it, I simply take note and set it aside for later thinking. I also pay attention to my breathing and through focusing on that I can get quite drowsy. If my mind is particularly busy I internally repeat the word “nothing”. After a few minutes of this I commonly fall asleep.
Using these 6 steps, I generally fall asleep in 20 minutes. It has taken some experimentation and practice but for me it truly does work. If you have trouble falling asleep give this a try or come up with your own routine and you may be surprised. Also take a look at other sleep hygiene articles as there are some suggestions that I haven’t mentioned. I hope I’ve helped. Happy Sleeping.
If you enjoyed this article please take a moment to check out some of my other articles here on Sivana Spirit and The Mighty. If you’d like to follow along with my journey you can find me on Instagram as @mentalhealthyxe.
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