Dec 7 2018
You may have heard the term “sleep hygiene” before, but you may not know what it means. “Sleep hygiene” refers to the overall practices around going to sleep at night. Increasingly, researchers are learning that sleep is critical to wellness. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help you determine whether you simply have a few bad habits that are keeping you awake or if you might have a more serious problem that should be evaluated by physicians at Sunrise Medical Center or a similar facility that offers sleep studies.
During the Day
You should try to avoid napping at all, and if you cannot, do not nap for more than 20 or 30 minutes. Some people find caffeine interferes with their sleep too much to consume it at all while others can do so as long as they stop by a certain time. Exercise and other stimulating activities should be completed a few hours before bedtime.
You should have several relaxing activities planned in the hour before you go to bed. This might include taking a hot shower or bath or reading a good book. These activities help relax you, but they also are a cue to your brain and body that you are shifting into a different frame of mind.
Once in Bed
Sleep in a cool, dark room, and do not take your phone or laptop to bed. If you wake up in the middle of the night, do not look at screens at all, and try to avoid looking at the time. If you toss and turn for more than 20 minutes, get up and go to another room. Read or engage in another quiet activity until you feel tired enough to go to bed.
If you are still tired and unable to get a good night’s sleep after trying these tips, doctors at Sunrise Practices or other physicians can check for sleep apnea or other disorders. A CPAP mask or prescription sleeping pills could be a significant help.