Want to be in a better mood tomorrow, and every day? Look to your sleeping habits! Getting a good night’s sleep, and establishing a good sleeping routine, can help improve your mood, and also be good for your health.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
As the NIH puts it, “The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping.” Sleep is vital to your mood and performance, and poor sleep habits can lead to problems big (accidents, disease) and minor (forgetting to send an email, snapping at family member).
What Is Good Sleep Hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is the set of practices you follow at night, from the temperature in your room, to your routine in the pre-bed hours. Having good sleep hygiene is a good way to ensure a good night’s rest, and a good day to follow. Here are a few of the common recommendations for maintaining good sleep hygiene:
- Be mindful about what you eat and drink: in the hours close to bedtime, avoid alcohol and caffeine, as well as nicotine, all of which can disrupt sleep. Big meals close to bedtime can also make sleep challenging.
- Set hours: it’s best to maintain a sleep schedule; going to bed at drastically different times on weeknights as from weekends can be problematic. As well, aim to wake up at the same time each day.
- Avoid naps: It can be tempting, but avoid naps, which can mess with your schedule.
- Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle can make sleep challenging. Make time to work out, but experts generally advise scheduling your workout in the morning or afternoon, and avoiding strenuous workouts close to bedtime.
- Keep a nice bedroom: Think Goldilocks: you want your room to neither be too cool nor too hot. And, of course, you want a quiet space that is not bright.
A Good Sleep Routine
One thing that helps improve sleep—which, in term, can have a lasting positive impact on your mood—is having a good sleep routine. This means reserving your bed solely for sleep and sex: don’t use your bed as a place to watch TV, catch up on work emails on a laptop or smart phone, or even read a book. Train your body that being in bed means sleeping.
As well, give yourself a wind-down routine. You may even want to set an alarm to remind yourself that it’s an hour before bedtime, and to start your nighttime relaxation mode. You may want to journal before bed, reflecting on the day. Maybe your nighttime routine is a cup of decaffeinated tea, or a warm shower or bath. The Mood Factory’s candles — perhaps in scents like renewal or serenity — can also be a wonderful way to let the drama of your day dispel.
What’s your bedtime routine? Share your tips for a restful night on social media.