To kick off our new routine of providing you with a new sleep hygiene tip each week, we thought we should first break down the buzzword “sleep hygiene”…so what does that term really mean? The National Sleep Foundation describes sleep hygiene as “A variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.” So we are on a mission to provide you with a realistic, doable tip each week that will lead you in the right direction in regards to getting the best rest each night so that you can be your best self each day!
This week’s tip: Limit screen time before bed.
At this point it’s a pretty well know fact- we should be cutting off our devices well before bedtime each night (this goes for both adults and children). Despite this advice, it’s reported that more than 90% of Americans are still using their devices and technology within an hour of bed each night (the general rule by sleep scientists is that technology should not be present in that last hour at all).
Staring at blue-light emitting devices before bed is totally messing with our circadian rhythm, as it’s tricking our brains into not knowing the time of day. We need to wind down with the natural light of the day, and it’s much better to surround ourselves with warm lamplight and candlelight in the evenings. Messing with our circadian rhythm causes our bodies to suppress the release of the hormone melatonin, which causes us to get sleepy and fall asleep easily when lying down for bed.
This blatant disregard for a well-known sleep tip may be a symptom of a more significant societal problem- our technology-addiction. Luckily this is the perfect time to start weaning ourselves from our devices and start a nightly routine. We challenge you to join our team in initiating a nightly routine that doesn’t involve screens. Maybe this routine includes a warm bath or shower? We all have that stack of books we’ve been trying to get to, dust one off and replace your nightly Netflix with a couple of chapters instead! You might try something healthy, like light yoga or an evening dog walk. Perhaps you and your partner could use some quality time together? Replace your Instagram scrolling with an audiobook listening session together! There are lots of ideas, and to be honest, they all sound nicer and a little more luxurious than starting at our screens for another evening…