07 Feb 2017

Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene

 Most of us know that getting sufficient sleep is important to maximize productivity.  The exact amount needed varies from person to person.  However, due to stress or annoying body rhythms, sometime it is difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

Here are 13 tips to improve your whole family’s sleep hygiene: 

1. Get moderate exercise daily, preferably in the morning or late afternoon.

2. If you can’t fall asleep in 20 minutes, read some more or switch rooms. It is much easier to fall asleep when you feel sleepy.

3. Maximize exposure to bright light during the day and minimize it at night. Use a nightlight in the bathroom.

4. Create comfortable sleep conditions (think mattress and temperature).

5. Read something relaxing in bed to get your mind off your own stuff. Use a book or kindle, but not a bright light.

6. Limit naps to less than 30 minutes, or else you will fall into a deep sleep, and it may be difficult to fall asleep again later.

7. Some foods, like bananas, have tryptophan, which can help you fall asleep.

8. Your body naturally produces melatonin at night, but if you don’t feel sleepy, over-the-counter melatonin at bedtime may help.
9. Avoid stimulants or sedatives close to bedtime, including coffee, soda, chocolate, and alcohol.

10. Avoid heavy meals.

11. Minimize liquids 2-3 hours before bedtime.

12. It really helps to add some down time to the end of your day.

13. If you have trouble falling asleep, do not look at the clock. You don’t want to get stressed about not getting enough sleep, which can make falling asleep even harder.

Source: Peter J. Houri, Sleep Specialist from the Mayo Clinic

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