Sleep Hygiene

Time to exercise!

Now that you know the fundamental tips for getting better and more sleep, it is time to install them! Trying to implement all these strategies can be overwhelming. Therefore we advice you to start with small implementations. Try some out for a couple of weeks, see how it makes you feel, and work your way up toward these healthier sleep habit changes. So, remember that it’s not all-or-nothing.

For example, start by reducing your caffeine intake (especially in the afternoon). The problem with caffeine is that it is in many of your drinks (coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks,…) and food that you are eating (chocolate, protein bars, coffee ice cream, …) , but it is not inherently bad as long as you consume small doses of caffeine. Scientific research cites maximum 400 milligrams a day as an amount not generally associated with negative effects but there is variation in both how sensitive you are to the effects of caffeine and how fast your body breaks it down. Caffeine is a stimulant that is active for 4 hours in your body which blocks sleep. So, becoming conscious in consuming caffeine is one easy way to turn into a better sleeper. But how can you do that? We advice you to do the following:

Step 1: Log your caffeine intake in some sort of journal for one week. You can easily do this by using the template that we have set up: Caffeine intake journal, but you can also simply write your caffeine consumptions on a piece of paper or in your smartphone. You don’t have to log your caffeine intake per hour but it could be handy to get an overview of the amount you consume in the late afternoon.

Because conscious consumption is quite difficult due to the many foods ands drinks containing caffeine we don’t know off, we therefore give you some information (see chart) on the amount of caffeine in various food and drink products. This will make it easier for you to log your caffeine intake, but keep in mind: The goal of this exercise is to make you become aware of your caffeine intake and to check whether it disrupts your sleep, so don’t overthink this!

Step 2: Aim to reduce your caffeine intake the following week. You might be surprised by the positive impact on your sleep and how easy it is to cut down your caffeine consumptions. 

Good luck!

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