Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe your sleep habits. Poor sleep habits are common problem in our society.
Common sleep problems are caused by bad habits reinforced over years.
You can improve your quality of sleep by following good sleep hygiene.
There are some essential things for good sleep hygiene. The things that are helpful for proper sleep hygiene are maintaining preparing for bed, personal habits, your sleep environment, avoiding disturbances in the middle of the night and other factors.
Essential things for good sleep hygiene:
Preparing for bed:
You can have light snacks before going to bed. Warm milk helps you to sleep as it contains amino acid tryptophan. Before going to bed, practice relaxation techniques such as deep breath and yoga to relieve anxiety and tension.
You can take a warm bath as it relaxes and helps you to sleep. After going to bed, do not think about worries and issues about next day, worries about job, school and daily life. If you cannot sleep with in half an hour, get up and listen to music or read some books until you get sleep.
Follow a regular bedtime such as going to sleep at the same time every night and getting up in the morning at same time every day. Avoid napping during daytime, as it will disturb your night time sleep even more.
Avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and chocolate six hours before bed time. Avoid alcohol six hours before bed time. Alcohol has sleep inducing effect, but after few hours alcohol in blood start to fall and you wake up in the middle of the night.
Avoid foods that are spicy, high sugar and heavy before going to bed. The easy digestion of these foods at night time can be difficult. Eat your meal two hours before going to bed. Exercise regularly three to four hours before bedtime. Do not exercise right before bedtime as it can decrease your ability to fall asleep.
Your sleep environment should be comfortable for good sleep hygiene. Temperature of the bedroom should be optimum. The bedroom should be well ventilated. Bedroom light should be dim and there should not be any outside noises.
Block the outside light and outside noises for good night sleep. Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
Disturbances in the middle of the night:
You may be disturbed in the middle of the night for various factors. Do not drink more fluids two hours before bedtime as it makes you to awake in the middle of the night. If you get up in the middle of the night, read some book, or have a bath.
Do not watch television at bedtime. Do not keep television in bedroom. Do not discuss about issues, bills and other family matters on the bed and bedroom. Hide bedroom clocks, otherwise you may watch the clock during night. Wearing loose and comfortable clothing at night time is the good sleep hygiene to get a quality sleep.
Poor sleep hygiene:
Poor sleep hygiene results in poor sleep. Due to poor sleep hygiene, you may feel tired, fatigue and exhausted the next day. Poor sleep hygiene also causes excessive daytime sleepiness. Poor sleep hygiene can also result in other sleep disorders.
Follow good sleep hygiene so that you can be alert and refreshed during day time. It also improves your health and well-being.