Your sleep hygiene consists of habits and practices that ensure your best possible sleep. The better your sleep hygiene, the better chance you have of reducing your risk for sleep-related conditions like sleep apnea, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Below are some tips to improve your sleep hygiene and get you back on the road to sweet dreams:
Go to bed only when you are sleepy
Sleep only as much as you need to feel refreshed for the following day. Excessively long tomes in bed lead to fragmented and shallow sleep. On average, adults require 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night; kids about 8-9.
Develop sleep rituals for yourself
Reserve the last hour before getting into bed for relaxing, restful activities
Optimize your sleep environment
Keep the room dark during sleep; consider light-blocking curtains or eye-covers, if necessary. Ear plugs or a white noise source (fan, air conditioning, or white noise machine) may help block out disruptive or irritating noises. Keep the room temperature moderate, as rooms that are too warm are more likely to disturb sleep.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bedtime
If possible, have your last drink with caffeine before 1pm. Although alcohol can help people fall asleep more easily, the ensuing sleep is often fragmented. Avoid smoking, especially in the late evening or during the night, as nicotine often disturbs sleep.
Do not watch the clock
Turn the clock away from the bed or cover it. Seeing the time during the night can be upsetting and may prevent a quick return to sleep
Have a light snack before bed
Regulate eating habits as hunger may disturb sleep. A light snack just before bedtime may help, but avoid greasy or a foods late in the evening or close to bedtime.
Only use your bed for the three activities
Train yourself to use the bedroom only for sleeping, sickness, and sex. This will help teach your brain to see the bedroom as a place for sleeping. Working, watching TV, or eating in bed should be avoided, as they may create unhelpful associates.
If you still find yourself unable to obtain a restful night's sleep, let us help! Contact the Sleep & Weight Loss Institute for a consultation and sleep study. We accept most insurance plans & have several payment options available--our Billing Specialists will work with you!