Sleep Hygiene ashansiam February 10, 2022

What is sleep hygiene?

  • Sleep hygiene is a set of habits that help you to have a good night’s sleep.

How can I sleep better?

The following are good sleep practices
  • Regular bed time- Always try to maintain a regular bedtime and a regular wake up time. Even on weekends it is best to stick to the same time schedule as the weekdays.
  • Avoid day time naps. If you must have a nap, limit it to less than 1 hour. Do not nap after 3 pm.
  • Stay active during the day. Too little physical activity during the day makes it difficult to fall asleep at night. Do regular exercises. But avoid any strenuous exercise within six hours of bedtime.
  • Reduce caffeine intake – You can have a cup of coffee in the morning. (a total of not more than 2 cups of coffee a day, which is equal to 200mg of caffeine). Avoid any caffeine after lunch. This includes other stimulant drinks as well. Sources of caffeine – coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, certain medicines.
  • Avoid smoking (nicotine). Nicotine prevents sleep. Once you stop smoking your sleep may get worse while you are in the period of withdrawal but after a while you will sleep better.
  • Do not take alcohol within 6 hours before bedtime. Alcohol at bedtime makes you fall asleep but it can wake you up during the night.
  • Do not eat a heavy meal just before bedtime. A light snack just before going to sleep may help.
  • Your bedroom should be a quiet and relaxing place:
    • It should have comfortable temperature. Not too hot or not too cold.
    • The mattress should be comfortable.
    • It should be dark. Have thick curtains to block light from coming into the room.
    • If the room is noisy, use ear plugs.
    • Use the bedroom only for sleeping, sex or recovering from an illness. Do not use the bedroom for work, eat or watch television.
    • Remove electronic devices such as computers, TV, smart phones and tabs from the bedroom. Artificial light generated from these devices stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to sleep. Turn off all electrical devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Plan your day well. Have a regular time for meals, chores, activities and medications. This will make your body clock work better.
  • Find things that relaxes you, to do before bedtime. A warm bath, meditation, light reading or having a light snack. Unwind close to bedtime.
  • Do not go to bed until you feel sleepy.
  • If you are unable to fall asleep after 20-30 minutes in bed – then get up and do something quiet and relaxing until you feel sleepy, and then go back to bed.
  • If you are still unable to sleep after adhering to the above practices, please see your doctor.
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Relaxation techniques
  • Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation will help calm your mind before going to bed and make it easier for you to fall asleep.
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