Sleep plays a vital role in the foundation of good health. You can dramatically improve your sleep hygiene by making a few minor adjustments to lifestyle and attitude, which will greatly improve your overall health.
What Is Sleep Hygiene?
‘Sleep hygiene’ means habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep. Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years or even decades.
Signs of Good or Poor Sleep Hygiene
One of the biggest signs that you have poor sleep hygiene is that you are experiencing disturbed sleep frequently. If you find yourself lying in bed at night, unable to fall asleep, then this is another sign you need to make some changes, as well as if you are constantly sleepy throughout the day.
On the other hand, if you have good sleep hygiene you will find that you are getting your full, uninterrupted rest. It’s likely that you don’t spend too long in bed, but rather just the right amount to get the rest that you need, without making frequent trips to your bed during the day.
Why Is It Important to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?
Understanding the vital connection between your health and your career will help you perform and progress. Research shows that issues with your sleep and your ability to sleep at night will begin to impact your performance at work. Issues with sleep can cause a lack of focus, bad decision making or irritability. Often, this will be confused as a sign of poor training or problems in the work environment. Sleep deprivation can even make working dangerous, particularly if you are responsible for protecting others in your position.
Ways to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
If you’re looking to get a better night’s sleep, here are some ways to improve your sleep hygiene.
- Don’t take afternoon naps. Long or frequent naps can affect night-time sleep, however if you must nap keep it short to no more than 10-20 minutes.
- You should try to establish a regular bedtime routine. By repeating the same routine, your body starts to recognise this as the time you’re getting ready for sleep. You can do this by reading a book, taking a bath, or another activity you find relaxing. Make sure you get up at the same time each day to help ‘set’ your body clock.
- Good sleep is more likely if your bedroom feels restful and comfortable. Make sure the room is at the right temperature and is dark enough. If you can’t control noise, buy a pair of earplugs.
- Make sure you exercise each day, but not close to bedtime as your body needs time to wind down.
- Try some relaxation techniques. Clear your mind and relax every part of your body starting with your toes working up to your scalp.
- Avoid medications and ‘social drugs’ such as cigarettes, alcohol and sleeping pills which can cause side effects such as daytime sleepiness.
If you have tried and failed to improve your sleep, you may like to consider professional help. See your general practitioner for information and referral to a sleep disorder clinic if necessary.
Do you need more information about the issues caused by poor health in the workplace? At Jobfit, we are committed to keeping occupational health on the right track and always strive to assist employee’s well-being. Contact our team and let us assist your workforce improve their overall health.