WEIGHT MANAGEMENT ∙ 2 minute read

Combat insomnia: clean up your sleep hygiene

By Kirsty Mason | Medically reviewed by Dr Leah Gorodi

Sleep. Shut-eye. Catching Zs. Whatever you call it, the average man spends 26 years of their life doing it and 7 years trying to do it. 

Do you want to be the average man and spend 61,362 gruelling, painful hours tossing and turning?

Didn’t think so. 

We get it, sleep can be a battle. Seeing  ‘3am’ glare back at you from the clock. Counting down the hours until your morning meeting. They’re getting shorter. Soon it will be minutes. Dread, frustration, despair. You’ll spend the rest of your night wrestling with sleep.

So… how are you going to win the battle?

You’ve got to start with the basics. The tools to win the fight. Let’s clean up your sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is the term used to describe behavioural and environmental sleep habits. So think: 

So, that’s the fundamental idea around sleep hygiene. How do you put it into practice?

4 easy ways to improve sleep hygiene

Start with our 4 basic tips for cleaning up your sleep hygiene and getting a proper night’s shut-eye.

1. Don’t watch TV or play on your phone just before bed.

Yes, square eyes, we’re talking to you. Using electronic devices before bed stimulates your brain and encourages the temptation to stay up late (just one more episode). Electronics also trigger our neurophysiological arousal mechanism as the blue light that’s emitted from devices suppresses the production of melatonin - a key hormone that controls the sleep cycle.

2. Make your bedroom your ‘bed’ room.

Believe it or not, your brain has a mind of its own. Your subconscious will frequently make decisions and associate stimuli with emotions and reactions. So, if you treat your bedroom like your office, your inner psyche will be in ‘work’ mode when you lay down to rest.

So that your subconscious doesn’t trick you into a night of insomnia, reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only. Any work or recreational activities should be taken outside the bedroom.

3. Stick to a regular bedtime routine.

Consistency is key. Your circadian rhythm operates on a 24-hour cycle. Going to bed at a different time every night disrupts your natural circadian rhythm and makes it harder to fall asleep. Ever had your sleep cycle gone completely haywire after travelling to another country? That’s because your internal clock is getting screwed by the change in time zones. Take good care of your circadian rhythm and go to sleep at the same time every night - even on weekends.

4. Practice a good daytime routine

That’s right - what you do in the day also influences how well you sleep at night. There’s even some evidence in adolescents that too much tech time throughout the day wreaks havoc on how well you sleep at night. Other daytime activities that can improve how well you sleep include getting natural daylight and exercising at least a few hours before bed.

The numan take

Conquer your sleep demons by cleaning up your sleep hygiene. You don’t have to spend 7 years of your life tossing and turning. You don’t have to see every hour of the AM. Don’t be the average man. Win the battle.