It’s hard to keep track of these daily “holidays” and special “weeks”. Did you know that this week is Sleep Awareness Week?
We didn’t know, either. But it’s underway, so let’s get our zzzzzzzs on!
Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York-based neuropsychologist and faculty member at Columbia University. He offers 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips.
Wait a minute? Hygiene tips? Are we dirty sleepers? #ListNameFail
Anywho, here are his tips... and our rebuttals:
Working Out Too Late Into The Night
Working out can help de-stress the body and reduce anxiety. However, “if done too close to your bedtime your body might still feel the adrenaline and pump of the workout and it might be difficult to fall into a sedative state,” says Dr. Hafeez. (But we need to get buff so we can get someone into bed.)
Having A Smoke Or Some Caffeine Too Close To Bedtime
“Nicotine is a stimulant and it is well known to cause insomnia. Depending on how your body processes nicotine you could be putting yourself at risk for low quality sleep which means a lack of REM sleep,” warns Dr. Hafeez. (Well, we can't help it that we were "smokin'" in bed-- wink, wink.)
Using Your Bed For More Than Just “Bed” Functions
Your bed should be used almost exclusively for sleeping and sharing intimate moments with our spouse or lover. This is because, “the brain has a hard time adjusting to sleep mode if it gets used to being on the bed all the time, eating, watching tv, studying or just hanging out. You’ll have a harder time shifting into actual ‘bedtime,’ explains Dr. Hafeez. (But we need a sandwich after some of those "bed" functions.)
Eating Too Late Into The Night
For late night munchers, it is no strange notion that after a binge session at 3 a.m it may be a little difficult to fall asleep. “Your system is stuffed. Depending on how much you eat you may feel bloated or hyperactive. This can result in you feeling uncomfortable. If you’re on a diet you may feel guilty for breaking your regimen,” says Dr. Hafeez. (Hello, Netflix-and-self-chill makes us hungry.)
Though It Is A Sedative, Alcohol Will Ruin Your REM Sleep
Many people say they sleep better after drinking. That may be true for a glass of wine with a light dinner but alcohol disrupts the way our body absorbs liquid, thus causing urgent and frequent needs to go to the restroom to urinate. (But that's how we ended-up with what's-their-face in bed.)
Going To Bed Angry Will Make It More Difficult To Fall Asleep
Not only is “don’t go to bed angry” good relationship advice, it turns out it’s great psychological and sleep hygiene advice. Dr. Hafeez explains that “if you are able to leave things off with someone in a better place or in a place of ‘we will work this out in the morning because we care for each other,’ you have a better chance of letting your body relax into sleep.” (It's better we punch a pillow than punch the person who needs it.)
Clinging to Your Cell Phone While Trying To Doze Off
This is a major issue in today’s digital age. People are tuned in to their phones too late into the night. Tips for avoiding this issue are to leave your phone across the room. This also helps when waking up in the morning and having to walk across the room to turn your alarm off. (But how can we get IG famous if we're not taking some rando I'm-sexy-in-bed shot?)
The Room Temperature Is Not Optimized For Sleep
Optimal room temperature is commonly thought to be 60-67 degrees according to the national sleep foundation. “Your body has a way of regulating temperature relative to the temperature of the room in order to relax you into sleep,” says Dr. Hafeez. If the room temperature is too hot or too cold it can cause discomfort that will wake you up throughout the night or keep you from falling asleep at all. (We're gonna get kicked in the crotch if we adjust the thermostat, so, we're tossing this tip out.)
Poor Lighting Environment
If a room is getting too much light coming in from the window or from your bedroom hallway it can be difficult to sleep. “Many people with light sensitivity will use blackout curtains to optimize the room for sleep. When clocks move forward and the sun rises at an earlier time people often struggle to acclimate themselves to the new time because the sunlight is waking them up,” says Dr. Hafeez. (That makes everyone look better, if you know what we mean.)
Napping During The Day
Sleep is a recharge for the day's activities. If you are constantly napping or napped too heavily during the day, your mind won’t be as tired as it usually is once it’s time to tuck into the sheets for the night. (Well, if we weren't the champs of "Last Call"... But we need to be champs of something.)
P.S. We still can’t get over “sleep hygiene”. Why not “sleep habits”? It defines the list. Or is that too obvious?
Haus of V is a creative collective that shares a similar mindset -- with a twist.