Achieve Better Sleep with Healthy Sleep Hygiene

HollowBrookSleep - Sleep Hygiene

If you’ve heard the term “sleep hygiene” and are wondering what it is and how to achieve it, look no further. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is “a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.” Put simply, sleep hygiene is how you achieve truly restful sleep.

Restful sleep improves a person’s mood, overall health, performance at work, and productivity in all of life’s tasks. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 40 percent of Americans fall short on sleep.

Signs of poor sleep hygiene include daytime fatigue, frequently waking up during the night, and taking a long time to fall asleep in the first place. The good news is that sleep hygiene can help people get back on track.

What to Do
There are many proactive techniques that can improve your sleep hygiene.

Here are a few:

  • Stick to a regular bedtime routine. This routine should be relaxing and relatively easy to replicate night to night. Per the National Sleep Foundation, options include “taking a warm shower or bath, reading a book, or light stretches.”
  • Keep your bedroom at a cool temperature.
  • Exercise during the day (do not exercise too strenuously, close to bedtime).
  • If outside noise and light are a problem, consider investing in blackout curtains, a fan for white noise, and ear plugs.
  • If you suspect you may suffer from jaw-related sleep disturbances, talk to your dental-care provider about preventative measures, such as a night guard.

What to Avoid
Avoiding certain detrimental behaviors and substances are just as important as building good, proactive habits.
Here are some things to avoid while building good sleep hygiene:

  • Bright lights that are on in your bedroom at night. This includes TVs and cell phones.
  • Caffeine before bedtime. The stimulant effect of caffeine may help you get through a tough afternoon or evening, but also make it tougher to fall asleep at night.
  • Too much alcohol. Though alcohol is a depressant, it can also interfere with restful sleep.
  • Stressful activities. This can come in the form of work, impassioned discussions, and a number of other factors. Do your best to be relaxed by the time you go to bed.

By avoiding these factors and developing healthy sleep-hygiene habits, you can join the ranks of the well-rested. If you are struggling with your sleep patterns and habits, call HollowBrook Sleep to speak with one of our certified Sleep Doctors about your options.

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