If you read just about anything discussing how to maintain good mental health, you will come across a discussion of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene, according to the American Sleep Association, is “defined by behaviors that one can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions.” While the importance of good sleep is widely recognized, the reasons are not well known. Everyone will likely experience difficulty sleeping at some point in their life.
Below is a list of sleep hygiene tips that can help one get into, and maintain, a good healthy sleep schedule.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of going to sleep.
- Create and follow a restful bedtime routine.
- Avoid using electronics, such as phones, before bed. The light that the device emits tells your brain it is day time.
- Avoid naps if possible.
- Limit or avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol drastically inhibits your brains ability to get a restful sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make sure your bed and environment are comfortable. (Temperature, mattress firmness, and pillow quantity can all play a role in sleep).
- Avoid large meals before bed.
- Make sure your room is dark.
If you are following these tips and are still having trouble sleeping, you may want to talk to your doctor. You could have sleep apnea or some other sleeping disorder.
For further information, visit the American Sleep Associations website here.