Sleep hygiene: tips and rules of conduct for healthy sleep

Sleep hygiene: tips and rules of conduct for healthy sleep

Do you often suffer from insomnia or do you want to improve your sleep? Then you should think about your sleep hygiene. With certain rules of conduct you can have a positive influence on your sleep. Find out now which habits can help you to promote healthy sleep.

Many people have trouble sleeping on a regular basis. There are multiple reasons for that. A healthy and restful sleep is important in order to function mentally and physically in everyday life. Difficulty staying asleep and lack of sleep are often not taken that seriously, but in the long run they can lead to illness

Already a single night sleep disorders leads to the fact that you cannot achieve your optimal performance on the following and, for example, your mood suffers. Your cognitive abilities suffer under the influence of sleep problems as well as your attention and concentration. In this case, you should also be particularly familiar with the tiredness and sluggish motivation that runs through the day.

If you suffer from insomnia frequently, changing your sleep hygiene behavior can be helpful and have a positive effect on the quality of your sleep so that you can regenerate sufficiently during the night.


What is sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene means that you follow certain rules of conduct to support and promote healthy and restful sleep. With the help of certain sleep hygiene measures, you can do something about your sleep disorders or prevent them.

Shift workers in particular can benefit greatly from sleep hygiene with their constantly changing rhythm.


Avoid sleep disorders through proper sleep hygiene

A sleep disorder, known among experts as insomnia, is when the quality, duration or restfulness of sleep is permanently impaired. The symptoms of insomnia can severely affect mental and physical performance. Often people suffer from insomnia when there is a connection to a disease. But other reasons, such as the current living conditions, can also be the cause of sleep disorders, such as shift work, stress, the sleeping environment or the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. A first step to finally sleep better again is to optimize your sleep hygiene.



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Sleep hygiene: tips to promote healthy sleep

Daily behaviors and rules can help you finally get back at night sleep better and prevent sleep disorders or insomnia. This includes, for example, the sleeping environment, sleeping habits, diet and what activities you do during the day.


Tips on how to change your habits and develop a healthy sleep rhythm:

  • The bedroom and bed are a relaxation zone
  • Make sure that the room temperature is optimal
  • Reduce light and noise to a minimum
  • Forget the clock
  • Take an afternoon nap only in the form of power napping
  • Create a buffer zone between everyday life and sleep
  • Regular rituals before going to sleep
  • Go to bed at regular sleep times and develop a sleep rhythm
  • Diet and exercise as part of sleep hygiene
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes
  • Watch your meal in the evening
  • Avoid physical overexertion in the evening


In Basis of sleep hygiene: sleeping environment

In Sleeping environment could be called Basis denote sleep hygiene, as it defines the optimal spatial rules. You spend a third of your life in bed, so investing in a quality mattress is important to prevent back or neck pain. You should definitely seek professional advice on this.

The bedroom and bed are a relaxation zone

Only use your bed as a place to sleep or have sex. Many people do other things in bed, which leads to associations that can cause anxiety. A messy room also creates a rather relaxed atmosphere and should always be in a tidy condition. Learning to quickly get things done for work, watching TV and other electronic media, eating or even anger and arguments are taboo in bed or - even better - in the bedroom! If you can't fall asleep or are angry, get up again and don't go back to bed until you realize you can sleep. Then try to switch off with relaxation techniques, to come down. Associating the bedroom with positive associations only is an important point in sleep hygiene.


Make sure that the room temperature is optimal

The room temperature should be cool rather than warm. Before you go to bed, you should ventilate your room well again in order to supply the room with fresh air. For optimal thermoregulation, it is important that the room is not too warm or cold, which is why you should set the radiators or air conditioning accordingly. The optimal room temperature in the bedroom is around 18 ° C. 

Reduce light and noise to a minimum

Light and background noise also play a role in sleep hygiene. First of all, you should keep your bedroom as dark as possible for the rest of the night. If you don't have shutters, you should use blackout curtains or a sleep mask.

If you ever wake up at night, try not to expose yourself to bright light, as this could make you more alert. Get an alarm clock that does not glow too brightly or use light sensors for nighttime trips to the toilet that only have weak light, otherwise your internal clock could be adjusted by bright light. Also try to avoid blue light, which the body perceives as daylight and thus the production of Melatonin inhibits. However, your body needs this sleep hormone to fall asleep.

Noise can be an especially annoying factor when it comes to sleeping. Not only do you wake up all the time, but you are often irritated by it - not exactly conducive to restful sleep. If you live on a busy street, you can use ear plugs or, if possible, you should consider moving your room.


Forget the clock!

Pooh! You just can't fall asleep and lie in bed forever? Are you wondering what time it is now and how many precious minutes of sleep you can still get? Refrain from looking at the clock. If you constantly look at the clock when falling asleep or waking up at night, you are under time pressure and nervous inside.

Sleep hygiene: tips for behavioral sleep habits

Sleep habits are regular rituals and routines that you develop in your sleep hygiene to prepare yourself and your body for a restful sleep, so that you can really switch off and regenerate during the night. The following tips will help you prepare your body for the night.


Take an afternoon nap only in the form of power napping

A midday nap can increase sleep pressure in the evening, making it difficult to fall asleep in the evening. If you cannot do without your afternoon nap or if you feel a low, you should make sure that you do not lie down for a nap after 15 p.m. You can control a healthy power nap with an alarm clock. However, this should not take longer than 30 minutes.


Create a buffer zone between everyday life and sleep

Between everyday life and sleep, you should take time to relax so that your body can shut down. If you are busy with work, planning, or having nerve-wracking conversations right before bed, you are likely to suffer from insomnia. For your sleep hygiene, you should complete your tasks and projects about 2 hours before sleep. You can try to let go of fears and worries through relaxation exercises - relax ... tomorrow is a new day!

Regular rituals before going to sleep

So that you subconsciously take yourself and your body to the next level in the direction of sleep in order to prepare for the night's rest, you should incorporate regular rituals into your sleep hygiene before going to bed. Keep the same sequence of your actions every day, which should not last longer than 30 minutes in total. For example: airing, cleaning your face, brushing your teeth, closing windows, turning off lights, taking off your clothes and going to bed!  


Go to bed at regular sleep times and develop a sleep rhythm

Regular bedtime and wake-up times are one of the most important behaviors in sleep hygiene and can even reduce health risks. This is important so that your biological rhythms can coordinate with one another. Try to keep a regular time to sleep and get up even on the weekend. As a rule, deviations should not exceed 30 minutes. If you have trouble sleeping, you can try going to sleep at 22.00:22.00 p.m. every night. In the period between 2.00:XNUMX p.m. and XNUMX:XNUMX a.m. your body releases a particularly large amount of the sleep hormone melatonin.


Diet and exercise as part of sleep hygiene

Your diet and everyday activity can have a significant impact on your sleep. Follow these tips in your sleep hygiene to avoid risking sleep disorders.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes

If you already have trouble sleeping, you should avoid alcohol or at least three hours before going to bed. Even if alcohol helps you to fall asleep, your sleep quality suffers, so that a restful sleep through is not possible. Even small amounts of alcohol, such as two glasses of wine, can contribute to poor sleep. The sleep phases in the second half of the night in particular suffer from alcohol consumption. If you share the bed with someone, you could cause a bad mood through snoring and increased breathing disorders in the form of pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).

It is best to avoid drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, green tea or cola, 4-8 hours before sleep. The primary effect of coffee as a stimulant against tiredness is of course not exactly beneficial for a good sleep. The effect and sensitivity of coffee can be very individual and can last for several hours.

We certainly don't need to tell you that smoking is harmful. If you cannot or do not want to stop, you should at least refrain from consuming nicotine after 19 p.m., as nicotine has a negative effect on your sleep: Your brain is stimulated, your blood pressure rises, the pulse increases and your body spills more Adrenaline out. Sleep disorders are not uncommon, especially in combination with alcohol. For optimal sleep hygiene, it is best to avoid all of these things.

Watch your meal in the evening

Heavy meals in the evening can cause insomnia as your body is busy digesting instead of regenerating. You should also control the amount you drink better in the evening and not drink too much fluids before going to sleep, otherwise you may have trouble sleeping through the night because you wake up and have to go to the toilet.


Avoid physical overexertion in the evening

You should be done with your exercise three hours before sleep. Because your central nervous system is stimulated through sport and especially through intense physical exertion, so that you could have problems falling asleep due to the stimulated metabolism. For people who don't move as much during the day, regular exercise or exercise can improve sleep.



A healthy and restful sleep is important for your physical and mental well-being so that you can call up your optimal performance. With some behavioral rules of sleep hygiene you can improve your sleep and reduce sleep disorders.


¹Melatonin helps alleviate the subjective feeling of jet lag. Melatonin helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.


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