Good Sleep Hygiene
Your body requires sleep as this process
provides vital rest. However, sometimes you may go sleep early at night and
sleep the appropriate hours, yet you do not feel fresh in the morning. This may
be caused by a number of hidden issues. Let’s take a look at what makes for
good sleep hygiene.
During the Night
- There should be an
appropriate bedroom set-up for sleep. For example, the bedroom should be
designated solely for sleeping. Your
bedroom should not have a television set, as the light from the television can
stop the nervous system from providing melatonin, a key factor in inducing
sleep. This can lead to falling asleep late in the night. Furthermore, you may
fall asleep whilst watching the television whilst leaving it on, forgetting to
turn it off. The light and sounds from the television can disturb the quality
of sleep, and prevent what may otherwise be a deeper sleep.
- Assign yourself
appropriate, scheduled, sleeping and waking hours. Make an attempt to keep this
consistent, regardless of it being a weekday or weekend.
- It is recommended to
avoid drinking a large amount of water prior to going to bed. This can cause
you to wake up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself, and upon your
return to bed you may find it difficult to go back to sleep. Similarly, avoid
eating copious amounts of food as this can cause stomach issues that may
- The bedroom
environment should be dark, quiet, and of an appropriate temperature (not too
warm, not too cool).
- If you find yourself
truly unable to sleep after lights out (20-30 minutes), do not try to force
yourself, perhaps try getting out of bed, move around in an ambience that is
not bright or loud for approximately 15-20 minutes then go back to bed.
- Whilst avoiding going
to sleep too late, you should also try to not sleep too early as you may be
unable to fall asleep. Even if you do fall asleep it may cause you to wake up
in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep.
- If you are unable to
sleep, avoid looking at the clock. Doing so can cause worry and make you unable
to sleep even more than before.
During the Day
- Avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated
beverages. This is especially important for individuals who experience
difficulty sleeping. If caffeine is necessary, try to not consume it after
- Avoid alcohol and smoking cigarettes,
especially when it is close to bed time.
- Get an appropriate amount of exercise
consistently. However, physical activity should be done 3-5 hours before sleep
as the increased body heat can have an affect on your ability to fall asleep.
- Furthermore, ensure that there
is adequate light/sunlight at your work place during the morning whilst
adjusting brightness according to the time of day i.e. dim the lights when it
is nearing bed time. The use of yellow/orange lights as opposed to white bright
lights 3-4 hours prior to sleep can help to make the sleeping process a lot
easier, especially for individuals with an existing sleep disorder.
o If the aforementioned advice causes you to
fall asleep too early adjustments may need to be to ensure you get an
appropriate amount of quality sleep.
o Consult our specialists for diagnosis and
treatment of sleep disorders.