Sleep Hygiene For Better Health

Developing good sleep hygiene can have a profound impact on your quality of life.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep Hygiene refers to the practice of good habits that promote restful, restorative sleep. There are a variety of hormone and environmental factors that affect the quality of your sleep. Read more about these factors in our latest hormone education.

The Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm is the body’s natural, 24-hour, sleep-wake cycle. Hormones and environmental factors can influence this natural cycle.

New on the DUTCH Podcast

Best-selling author and international speaker, Deb Matthew, MD, joined the DUTCH Podcast last month to talk about the power of the circadian rhythm. In this information-packed episode, she explains how cortisol, DHEA, and melatonin all work together to maintain a normal, healthy sleep and waking cycle. She also gives some clinical pearls to help you get your sleep back on track. 

Cortisol and Melatonin

Melatonin levels rise as cortisol levels drop off at the end of the day. Sleepiness cues are triggered by melatonin. If cortisol does not rise and fall appropriately, melatonin may not be adequately produced, creating a poor body environment for sleep. 

Here's a Tip: Stick to a more traditional sleep window for better sleep quality. Sleeping from 11 PM to 8 AM will feel more restful than sleeping from 2 AM to 11 AM. Use the dark hours of the day (between 9 PM and 9 AM) for the best sleep window. Also, remove sources of artificial light and avoid screen-time before bed. Blue-light exposure and other artificial lights can dampen melatonin production, delaying your natural sleep cycle and affecting the quality of your sleep.

Learn more about how monitoring diurnal cortisol patterns can help you better understand your stress resilience in our recent webinar with Tom Guilliams, PhD. Dr. Guillliams has spent his career studying and writing about cortisol, and has been pushing for more accurate ways to talk about how stress can lead to dysregulation of cortisol production in the brain.

Small changes can significantly improve your sleep. 

Start by establishing a relaxing bedtime routine by dimming the lights and disconnecting from your phone at least an hour before you fall asleep. Try meditating and consciously winding down your mind to prepare your body for a long and relaxing night's rest.

To stay up to date on all of the hormone education from the DUTCH Test, sign up for the DUTCH Digest!