Sleep hygiene is simply a process of just following a few simple rules that can make the difference between a restless and a restful sleep. People who find themselves tossing and turning a lot at night while they try to sleep can benefit from these simple suggestions.

Set a regular bedtime. Research shows that a regular bedtime is actually more important than how many hours sleep you get. Getting to bed and getting up shouldn’t vary by more than twenty minutes.

Make bedtime relaxing. Take a warm shower, read a book, do some light stretching or meditation to prepare your mind for bedtime. Limit or avoid napping in the daytime. Although a twenty-minute nap can lift the mood and increase performance levels during the day, naps don’t make up for quality sleep at night. Daytime naps are also unhelpful in establishing sleep hygiene routines.

You can’t ever make up a “sleep debt” caused by having a few hours sleep one night followed by a longer sleep the next! If you can’t get to sleep, don’t lie there getting annoyed. After ten minutes of sleeplessness, get up and do something relaxing. Don’t turn on the TV though, or your Facebook page!

Other points about sleep hygiene include avoiding caffeine, alcohol and foods that are full of sugar or are fatty. Spices can cause indigestion, as can fizzy drinks and citrus foods. Ensure you get adequate exposure to sunshine across the day. This helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Exercise regularly – it does make a difference.

Ensure that your bedroom is quiet, comfortable and a place to sleep.

Questions:

  • Should alarm clocks be covered?
  • What harm can a phone cause if it’s beside you?
  • Does chamomile tea help?
  • How can you get back to sleep after a bathroom visit?

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