Sleep Hygiene Tips for Insomnia

Posted by on Jul 20, 2011 in Insomnia | No Comments

Are you struggling with insomnia or restless sleep? These sleep hygiene tips will provide you with some self-care tools to battle sleep issues and improve the quality of your sleep.

  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. If you go to bed at the same time every night, your body will get used to falling asleep at that time. So choose a time and stay with it, even on the weekend.
  2. Develop a wind-down pre-bedtime routine. Perhaps listen to soothing music, take a shower or bath, read, meditate, or drink sleepytime tea as you lead up to bedtime.  Avoid the computer, television, or stressful thinking. Follow the same routine every night.  This routine will train your body that it’s time for sleep.
  3. Use your bedroom for sleeping and lovemaking—and nothing else!  Your body associates activities with surrounding environments.  Therefore, if you watch TV, use computer, or do other activities in your bedroom, your body will associate these wakeful activities with your room.
  4. Sleep in a cool room. When a room is too warm, people wake up more often and sleep less deeply. According to the National Sleep Foundation, studies show that you’re likely to sleep better in a room that’s on the cool side.
  5. Reduce caffeine intake.  It’s best to avoid caffeine well before bedtime, including tea, sodas, and chocolate.
  6. Avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol will initially make your sleepy, but as your alcohol levels drop, you’ll start to wake up and ultimately experience a lighter sleep.
  7. Exercise in the afternoon, ideally sometime between noon and 6 pm. Afternoon exercise may help you sleep more deeply, whereas exercise before bedtime may keep you up.
  8. Eat dinner early and avoid snacks before bed. Allow 3 hours or so between your final meal or snack and bedtime.
  9. Keep your naps brief: 20 minutes or so.
  10. Make your room a relaxing, quiet, and dark.  A comfortable bed, good snuggly pajamas, and darkening curtains can make your room a sleeping refuge.  If you’re sensitive to sounds, use a white-noise machine, earplugs, or fan to help you fall asleep.

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