Power down before bedtime for a powerful morning


Grace Dorsey

art by Ana Rameriz
[heading class=”Closing off classrooms hurts education”]Sleep hygiene just as important as other forms of hygiene[/heading] There’s no question that hygiene in all of its forms dominates the world’s daily routines. From brushing one’s teeth two times a day to washing one’s hands before food preparation, good personal hygiene has aided in longer lifespans and lower rates of infectious diseases. Hygiene, however, doesn’t just pertain to the elimination of bacteria. Hygiene encompasses all aspects of our lives, including sleep.
Doctors and parents alike have reinforced getting a good night’s sleep throughout generations. But what gives us the best chance for the best night’s sleep? In order to get rid of that constant drowsiness, one should practice quality sleep hygiene by refining the exercises that are often overlooked during the hours before our bedtime.
Everyone’s been there. It’s been hours since first settling down for the night and the room is dark except the luminous screen of the phone- all in all a situation perfect for procrastination. Whether it’s scrolling through Twitter and Tumblr feeds, texting friends or watching that new season on Netflix, focus is easily shifted from sleep to social media. Though it may seem the only downside comes from a reduction hours of sleep, in reality staring at a screen in the dark has a far more profound effect.
The blue light emitted from our digital products inhibits the normal effects of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. This in turn leads to less REM sleep and more sluggishness in the morning afterwards- which is not a good setup for a productive and energetic day.
Alternatives for those afterdark internet sessions include enjoying a novel, exploring the world of adult coloring books or perhaps even a quick yoga session. These are better options because they allow the mind and body to relax after a busy day— without the disrupting effects of blue light.
The next step in ensuring a sleep oasis is reinventing bedrooms into places strictly for sleep and relaxation. This may not be an easy task as oftentimes these spaces are utilized for places of study, comfortable lounging and above all, refuges from parents and siblings. If it seems like changing the room into a place strictly for rest seems daunting, make the switch gradually. Dining room tables may not seem like the ideal place for studying, especially if you value your privacy, but the payoff is worth it.
Overall the most significant part of a good night’s rest is simply making a commitment. Just setting aside the time and energy for creating a sleep schedule that works for you is incredibly important.