3 sleep hygiene tips for a better night’s sleep

3 sleep hygiene tips for a better night’s sleep

Sleep is a topic that’s close to my heart, as I explained in my previous article How to achieve a deeper sleep every night. As a recovering insomniac, I know how frustrating and upsetting it can be when you can’t fall asleep or you wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep.

So, I wanted to share three simple tips for a better night’s sleep.

The 3 Ps of sleep hygiene

If you experience sleep issues, you’re going to need to put in the work to overcome them. This requires patience and consistent commitment. But I’m living proof that it can be done.

My advice is to follow the 3 Ps:

  • Plan
  • Prepare
  • Practise

If you want to learn a new skill, you need to plan, prepare and practise in order to become proficient. And it’s the same for sleep. We need to take time to learn the skills that will assist us in getting better quality sleep.

Making a sleep hygiene plan

So, how are you going to learn the skill of getting good, restorative sleep every night?

What do you need to change or purchase to improve the current situation that might be preventing you from sleeping?

Do you need to change any unhelpful habits? Do you need to find support or assistance to help you with this?

Try setting an intention that you can and will learn to sleep well. Would attending a yoga or meditation class help you relax more easily? What else might help you to relax?

It’s a good idea to think about these questions and put a plan in place to help you make any necessary changes. You’ll then be in a better position to start following the steps outlined below.

3 sleep hygiene tips

These three tips relate to the second P: prepare. Preparation is key when it comes to good sleep hygiene, so give these tips a go and see which ones work best for you, then try to incorporate them into your daily routine.

1. Prepare to get ready for bed

  • Create a sleep sanctuary – a cosy, comfortable space that feels relaxing and safe. Safety is an essential component here, as we’re at our most vulnerable when we’re asleep. We need to feel safe and protected as though we’re in a ‘sanctuary’.
  • Prepare yourself for bedtime, doing whatever you need to do before going to sleep, e.g. brushing your teeth, locking doors, etc., so that when the wave of sleep comes you’re ready to succumb to it without interruption.
  • Have a notebook handy for any sudden thoughts that pop into your mind which could prevent you from sleeping.
  • To aid relaxation if you’re not quite ready for sleep, consider listening to something relaxing, e.g. music, a story or a guided meditation. It’s always better to listen rather than read if you have problems dropping off.

2. Prepare for being awake in the night

  • If you do wake in the night, rather than becoming stressed and anxious about this, try listening to something relaxing. Again, you could try some relaxing music, a story, a guided meditation or a yoga nidra practice. And, again, it’s better to listen rather than read.
  • Scientists have proven that practising meditation can shift us into a state deeper than sleep in as little as 3 minutes, no training required.

3. Prepare to get ready for the day

  • Achieving deeper sleep actually starts right from the moment you open your eyes in the morning.
  • Noticing and feeling how you are in your body, the thoughts you think, your daily routines and the intentions you set will lay out the path for the day ahead – all the way to bedtime.

Don’t forget to practise!

Once you’ve done your planning and preparation, don’t forget the final P: practise! Just like learning any new skill, the skill of sleeping more soundly requires plenty of practice. Keep going and don’t worry about any setbacks you experience – they’re all part of the process. Just acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

Over time, using trial and error to find a good sleep hygiene routine that works for you, you should find you’re experiencing deeper, more restorative sleep every night.

If you’d like to learn more about sleep and the 3 Ps, as well as the essential sleep skills you need, join our next Sleep is Magic course.

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