Promoting Healthy Sleep Hygiene

The things you do throughout the day, especially right before bed, have a dramatic influence on the quality of your sleep. They can either work to promote quality sleep or contribute to insomnia.

The routines of your day – the medications you use, your schedule, the things you drink and eat, and the activities you choose – may all have an effect on how well you sleep. Making a few minor changes can mean the difference between sleeping soundly and tossing and turning throughout the night. Taking the time to keep a two week sleep diary may provide you with some insight into how your daily routine impacts the quality of your sleep.

The phrase “sleep hygiene” is used to refer to sleep habits that you can use to enhance your ability to get a restful night’s sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches individuals about these habits and helps them to develop a long term plan to address their insomnia. This type of therapy can assist individuals with the specific behavior patterns that are keeping them from getting a good night’s sleep. You’ll also learn various ways to reduce stress, manage your sleep schedule, and learn how to relax overall.

If you’ve been having issues with sleep, or if you want to improve the quality of your sleep, you may want to try some of these techniques. Speak with your medical professional if you continue to have issues with insomnia. You may also want to seek out the help of the professionals at a sleep center that is accredited by the AASM.

Tips for Sleep

To establish the best possible sleep habits, consider these tips:

  • Design a consistent schedule for sleep. Wake up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Choose a bedtime that allows you to get at least seven full hours of sleep.
  • Avoid going to bed if you aren’t tired.
  • If you can’t fall asleep after you’ve been in bed for around twenty minutes, get up and do something else.
  • Design a relaxing routine for bedtime.
  • Only use your bed for sex and sleeping.
  • Design your bedroom so that it is relaxing, quiet, and calm. Keep the entire room at a cool, but comfortable temperature.
  • Limit your exposure throughout the evening to bright lights, as they can interfere with your sleep cycles.
  • Shut off electronics a half hour before going to bed.
  • Get a good mattress – this one from Sleep Innovation has good reviews
  • Avoid eating a great deal before you go to bed. Instead, choose a light snack.
  • Exercise regularly as this will help maintain your natural cycles.
  • Stay away from caffeine in the evening or late afternoon.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol right before bed.
  • Limit the amount of fluid you take in before you go to sleep.