Peter here. I’m a fellow narcolepsy blogger from narcolepsycoach.com
Tove graciously let me write a blog post for her audience about sleep hygiene.
So what exactly is sleep hygiene?
Definition: Sleep hygiene is any practice or habit that help facilitates better sleep quality and more daytime alertness.
Improving Sleep Hygiene for People with Narcolepsy
Below are my favorite practices/habits for bettering your sleep hygiene.
- Create a sleep sanctuary
- The bedroom should be a space for solely two things: sleep and intimacy. Your mind needs to associate this physical place just for those two activities.
- This is not a room where you watch Television. This is not a room for scrolling through twitter. This is not a room for arguing.
- Conditioning yourself to treating this room as a “sleep sanctuary” will help you fall into sleep quicker.
- Remove EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) from the sleep sanctuary
- Our electronic devices (smart phones, computers, etc.) emit an electromagnetic field that have an affect on our bodies. It’s important to remove all devices that emit this field from the bedroom so it gives your body the best ability to fall into a restful sleep.
- Deep sleep during the optimal window (10 pm – 2pm)
- Our bodies and brains are susceptible to external stimuli. For example the UV waves from the sun will make you more wakeful and natural darkness will lessen your cortisol production. It’s beneficial to leverage these stimuli, instead of having them work against you. You can do this by aiming to sleep during “money time” as Shawn Stevenson from the Model Health Show describes it. Those hours are from 10 pm – 2 am.
- Exercise during the right times
- If you exercise too close to bedtime, it can throw off your circadian rhythm. Make sure you give a buffer of at least 4 hours from your last rep to the time you place your head on the pillow.
- Sleep in a cool space
- Thermoregulation influences your sleep cycles — Gearing up for sleep leads to your body automatically dropping your core body temperature to help with sleep. Science has shown the ideal sleep environment temperature is around 68 degrees (Fahrenheit).
- Cut out caffeine by noon
- Caffeine can linger in your body for several hours even after consumption. If you are consuming caffeine, it’s important to make the time window between consumption and bed as large as possible. I recommend making that time period at least 8 hours.