By Dr Adelaide Turner, Osteopath.
Good sleep is an important part of good function – mentally and physically – and is even more important now with the extra stresses of COVID-19. Everyone’s sleep needs vary between age, health and lifestyle but there are a handful of things we can all add to our everyday to improve our sleep quality and quantity.
6 Healthy habits for sleep hygiene:
1. Good diet: Being mindful of what we put in our bodies is important for sleep quality, including avoiding caffeine later in the day.
2. Routine: According to Sleepfoundation.org, one of the most important practices of sleep hygiene is establishing good routine around bedtime. Doing the same things every day to signal to your body and brain that it is time to go to sleep is a part of establishing this routine. These things can include warm showers or baths, reading and cutting down ‘screen time’.
3. Sleep environment: Sleep can be improved by the environment you sleep in. Pillows and mattresses should be comfortable – Check out our range of Denton’s pillows, or ask our friendly practitioners for
more information. The room should be cool, and there should be minimal lights and devices, so turn those off when possible.
4. Relaxation: You can build tools for relaxation into your routine to help you go off to sleep. These may include mindfulness and meditation, breathing techniques, reading or yoga.
5. Exercise: remaining active is a great way to improve your sleep. Our exercise physiologists can discuss your exercise needs with you.
6. Exposure to natural light: Ensuring you have adequate exposure to
natural light during the day and darkness at night impacts melatonin release. Alice, our podiatrist, has written a blog on good walking tracks in the area – you can combine your exercise and natural light.
Keep up your self-care measures during this difficult time, we are all in it together!