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Sleep Hygiene

Good “sleep hygiene” are habits and behaviors that help to keep your mind and body rested and strong. Good “sleep hygiene” are habits and behaviors that help to keep your mind and body rested and strong.

The idea behind sleep hygiene is similar to that of dental hygiene.  Both rely on nightly or daily rituals for consistently good hygiene.  Just as you get in the habit of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly, you should have a nightly routine of healthy habits to help you get good sleep.  Following these sleep hygiene tips can help insure a good night’s sleep.

Wait until you are sleepy before going to bed

  • If you’re not sleepy at your regular bedtime, do something relaxing; read a book, listen to music, or do some other activity that relaxes, not stimulates you.  

After 20 minutes, if you’re not asleep, get out of bed

  • If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and find something else that will relax you enough to help make you sleepy.

Pre-sleep rituals help to initiate relaxation each night before bed

  • This can include a warm bath, light snack, or a few minutes of reading or music.   Avoid heavy meals near bedtime.

Try to keep a regular sleep/wake schedule

  • Maintain the same wake up time, even on weekends and holidays

Try to keep regular daily schedules

  • Maintaining regular schedules for your meals, medications, chores, and other activities help keep your body’s clock running smoothly

Sleep a full night on a regular basis

  • Get enough sleep everyday so that you feel well-rested

If possible, avoid naps

If you have to take a nap, try to keep it to less than one hour and avoid taking them after 3 pm

Do not eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or play computer games in bed

Avoid caffeine after lunch

Avoid alcohol of any type within six hours of your bedtime

Do not smoke or ingest nicotine within two hours of your bedtime

Exercise regularly but avoid strenuous exercise within six hours of your bedtime

  • Exercise on a regular basis is good, but do it earlier in the day (talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program)

Avoid sleeping pills, or use them cautiously

  • Most doctors won’t prescribe sleeping pills for periods of more than three weeks.  If using them, use as prescribed by your physician

Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry, before bedtime

  • Find ways to relieve stress and aggravation.  This can be accomplished in a number of  healthy outlets.  

Maintain your bedroom environment quiet, dark, and a little bit cool

  • Every person has his or her own personal preference as to the ideal sleep environment.  Extremes should be avoided.  If you need noise, use white noise or soft music.  If you need light, use off-light such as a night light.

Our Sleep Medicine team uses advanced technology to diagnose and treat sleep disorders at a variety of locations throughout the community. To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5864.