Although maintaining a clean bed is important, and there is a certain pleasure of sleeping in new bed sheets, a virgin womb for our rebirth the next day, sleep hygiene refers to the habits and practices conducive to a regular good night’s sleep. While diet and exercise receive much credit for living a full and healthy life, little attention is given to that daily eight hour period of sleep. Taking a few simple things into consideration, this can be a time of profound comfort and rejuvenation. The ambience of the bedroom should reflect that by being uncluttered and visually nourishing, to stimulate a supportive atmosphere. A childhood teddy bear in a corner can connect us to another time, a reminder, or family pictures.
Getting a regular exposure to direct sunlight during the day, particularly straight after waking, can help establish good circadian rhythms. Avoid exposure to bright light, especially blue light, close to bedtime, as it may confuse circadian rhythms and trigger awakening rather than sleeping processes. Avoid caffeinated drinks a few hours before bedtime, but hot milk or herbal tea may encourage sleep.
Strenuous exercise, heavy meals or a hot bath increase body temperature, making it harder to fall asleep afterwards. However, a lukewarm bath or shower can help relax your muscles and make falling asleep easier. An evening stroll while doing a mental
review of the day may help to let go of mental tension. Use your bed only for sleep and sex, not for television, computers, phone, etc., so that a strong mental association is established between the bedroom and its activities. The bedroom should be as dark and free from intrusive noise as possible and
The Indian Ayurvedic and the Chinese Feng Shui systems believes that sleep positions decide the kind of energy we want coming into our life, with sleeping facing the east and south being the most beneficial.
The Vishnu Purana says “it is beneficial to lie down with the head placed eastward or southward. The person who lies down with their head placed in contrary directions becomes diseased.”
On the other hand, scientists have long suspected that humans like many other animal species have an innate magnetic compass, but have been unsure as to how this affects us. The new research shows that some mammal species always graze and sleep facing north or south and that the earth’s magnetic field is probably causing this. Further studies have suggested that humans who sleep in an east-west position have far shorter rapid eye movement or REM sleep cycles, in which dreams occur, compared with north-south sleepers who got more REM sleep.