Never apply health-related recommendations without consulting your doctor.

What is Sleep Hygiene-How to Improve Sleep Quality

Sleep is one of the basic needs that are indispensable for physical and mental health. Thanks to sleep, living things maintain their physical and mental activities while preserving their energy. During sleep, all systems in the organism slow down and the natural resting process begins. Hormones such as melatonin that are secreted increase the body’s resistance by fighting free radicals. Most of the cells, especially the immune system cells, are renewed and repaired during sleep. Therefore, a quality sleep is an indispensable part of a healthy life. However, some habits in daily life can affect people’s sleep at night and cause most people to wake up in the morning without adequate rest. Having knowledge about sleep hygiene helps to have a quality sleep process. “What is sleep hygiene?” “How to improve sleep quality?” You can read the rest of our article for answers to questions such as:

What is Sleep Hygiene-How to Improve Sleep Quality

What is Sleep Hygiene?

According to scientific studies, in order for a person to regain his daily energy and lead a healthy life under normal conditions, the time spent in sleep should be approximately 7-8 hours. Sleep duration may differ according to age, work, and gender. Quality sleep is as important as sleep duration for a healthy life. Since sleep is a physical need, people with sleep deprivation may experience irregularity in some chemical substances in their blood, resulting in health problems such as fatigue and exhaustion. Sleep disorders also adversely affect mental health, resulting in problems such as difficulty concentrating and decreased work efficiency.

Why Sleep Hygiene Deteriorates?

Insomnia, which is common today, can occur as a result of many physical and psychological health problems, and insomnia itself can lead to the development of many health problems. Insomnia is often caused by psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. Insomnia or sleep problems that develop without any known health problem can be completely eliminated by measures called sleep hygiene. So what is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene can be defined as the principles and rules necessary for a regular and continuous quality sleep. In a broader sense, sleep hygiene is defined as avoiding harmful habits such as cigarettes and alcohol that impair sleep quality, and avoiding consuming beverages with high caffeine content such as tea and coffee, by choosing behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating, which help a quality sleep. Sleep hygiene is essential for a quality sleep.

How to Improve Sleep Quality?

If sleep disorders are related to a physical or mental health problem, the health problem causing insomnia should be eliminated by consulting a doctor who is an expert in the field. In sleep problems that are not related to any health problem, it may help to increase sleep quality by adopting certain behaviors while avoiding others. So how to improve sleep quality? Some of the recommendations for sleep hygiene can be listed as follows:

Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day is very important for quality sleep. The vast majority of people tend to change their sleeping hours on holidays when they are not going to work the next day. However, this situation disrupts the balance of sleep and wakefulness and negatively affects sleep quality.

The place where people sleep is one of the main factors affecting sleep quality. Sleep can be affected by external stimuli such as light and noise. For this reason, it is important that the preferred environment for sleeping is dark and quiet. In addition, the humidity and temperature values ​​of the environment must be in suitable ranges. It can be difficult to fall asleep and maintain the REM phase of sleep in an extremely hot or cold room. According to scientific research, the temperature of the room should be less than 24°C during sleep.

With the developments in science and technology, the majority of people spend a lot of time on the internet for both their business life and social needs. This situation can sometimes continue in the bedroom. According to scientific studies, quitting technological devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed helps to fall asleep and maintain a healthy sleep. In addition, situations such as eating in bed and reading a book can negatively affect sleep quality. Therefore, considering the bed as an area used only for sleeping is a good method to improve sleep quality.

Regular exercise plays an important role in maintaining physical and mental health. One of the positive effects of regular exercise is that it helps to improve sleep quality. According to scientific studies, doing 20-30 minutes of exercise at least 4-5 days a week increases body resistance and helps a healthy sleep. Exercises performed 3 hours before bedtime also ensure that the transition to sleep phase is easy and REM sleep is of high quality. Some hormones secreted in the human body during exercise help deep and quality sleep.

During the day, the glucose level in the blood of people who eat excessively fat and carbohydrate-weighted rises and falls suddenly. This may cause an increase in the need for sleep during the day and difficulty sleeping at night. Sleep problems are less common in people who eat rich in milk and dairy products. In addition, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits positively affects sleep quality. The time of dinner, as well as the foods in the nutrition list, affect the quality of sleep closely. Eating anything at least 2-3 hours before sleep makes it difficult to fall asleep. If hunger is felt late at night, milk and dairy products should be preferred if possible.

There is an inverse relationship between the use of alcohol and tobacco products and sleep quality. The stimulating effect of nicotine in the composition of tobacco products negatively affects sleep quality. At the same time, the majority of people who use tobacco products have complaints such as shortness of breath, cough and sleep problems as a result. Alcohol also has a negative effect on sleep. Deterioration of brain activity in people who consume excessive alcohol can cause the sleep part of the brain to work incorrectly. People who state that they sleep comfortably after drinking alcohol may wake up more later in their sleep compared to other people and may feel more tired in the morning because their sleep is constantly interrupted.

Caffeine is another stimulant in the body. Sleep problems are common in people who consume high amounts of caffeine-containing products such as tea and coffee during the day.

Stress is an important condition that can cause many health problems. When we look at people who have sleep disorders, it is seen that the majority of them are under intense stress. According to scientific studies, people who experience intense stress shorten the duration of sleep, while the quality and efficiency of sleep decreases. For this reason, it is necessary to learn ways to keep stress under control by getting help from a specialist if necessary. Listening to music and doing exercises like yoga and pilates can help reduce stress. In addition, breathing exercises before sleep can increase the body’s oxygen capacity and make it easier to fall asleep.

Sleep hygiene is a set of recommendations to improve sleep quality. Sleep disorders can bring along various health problems. For this reason, it is beneficial for people who have sleep disorders to follow the recommendations and consult a specialist without wasting time.

Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.