Sleep Hygiene: Do You Have Sleep B.O.?

lifestyle Oct 12, 2020

“Not being a morning person” goes beyond a mindset and for some, it may take more than a strong cup of coffee to fix. Read on for more info on how to improve your sleep hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene? I sleep clean, right? Does this mean I could have sleep B.O? No, silly, but you can call it that if you’d like.

Sleep hygiene is less about the cleanliness of your resting place, though that does matter, and more about your sleeping habits.

Sleep hygiene is measured using two parameters, duration and quality of sleep. Poor sleep hygiene, or as I call it, having “sleep B.O.", has been linked to the development and progression of a number of chronic diseases including but not limited to type 2 diabetes, obesity, and depression.

As a matter of fact, sleep duration and quality have become predictors for a number of biomarkers including A1c. For those with type 2 diabetes, this means that optimizing sleep quality could contribute to improved blood sugar control. A body lacking sleep is a body under stress. Subsequently, many of the same negative effects of stress are also experienced as a result of poor sleeping habits.

Research has shown that excess stress can cause excess weight gain. Insufficient sleep results in hypothalamic changes in metabolic and hormonal body regulation, changes which have been linked to obesity.

The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that regulates appetite, energy expenditure, and a number of other hormonal and metabolic functions. Proper rest periods allow the hypothalamus to function in a way that increases the body’s energy efficiency. When it is under stress, such as a lack of sleep, the signals sent from the hypothalamus trigger the body to produce more stress hormones, store fat, and stimulate appetite.

Signs of poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep duration include feelings of sluggishness or of being exhausted even after a full night’s sleep, waking up repeatedly throughout the night, and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders such as snoring or gasping for air. If you experience any of these problems, it is suggested that you seek professional guidance from your physician. They may be able to help identify the key factors impeding on your sleep.

So if you are looking to take your snoozefest to the next level or just get rid of your “sleep B.O.”, here are a few tips that are proven to help:

  • Be consistent. Head to bed and wake up at the same times each day, including on the weekends.
  • Relax. Take a bath or meditate, read a book, anything to help decompress your mind then make it a routine.
  • Create a sleep diary. Record the times that you head to bed each night, the time that you actually fall asleep, when you wake up or nap, exercise patterns, and alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Make your room a place of peace and serenity. This is particular for your likings—temperature (low-to-mid 60 F), darkness, quiet.
  • Dedicate your bed to the two “S"s (sleep and sex) and nothing else. Your bed is not your dining room table, don’t treat it as such! You wouldn’t be having sex on a set table (or maybe you would, no judgment here), why are you eating a spaghetti dinner on your clean sheets? This allows your mind to subconsciously connect your bed with sleep-time thus prepping your body for sleep without any effort from you!
  • Remove electronics from your bedroom, or simply ensure that they are stowed and off during your sleeping hours (TV, computers, and phones).
  • Avoid consuming large meals, alcohol, or caffeine before bed. So yes, you probably should not eat a three-course meal an hour before bed.
  • Tire yourself out. Participating in physical activity during the day can help you fall asleep quicker and more easily when it is time to hit the hay.

Hopefully, these tips will have you sleeping soundly and waking fully rested with those I-slept-really-well-last-night pillow imprints on the side of your face. Remember, your sleep doesn't have to stink. #SleepB.O.

CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

CDC - About Sleep - Sleep Hygiene. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,


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