Sleep hygiene is the term used to describe good sleep habits. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of guidelines and tips which are designed to enhance good sleeping, and there is much evidence to suggest that these strategies can provide long-term solutions to sleep difficulties.
There are many medications which are used to treat insomnia, but these tend to be only effective in the short-term. Ongoing use of sleeping pills may lead to dependence and interfere with developing good sleep habits independent of medication, thereby prolonging sleep difficulties.
Sleep Hygiene Tips
- Don’t go to bed unless you are sleepy.
- If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, then get out of the bed.
- Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
- Get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis.
- Avoid taking naps if you can.
- Keep a regular schedule.
- Don’t read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or play cards in bed.
- Do not have any caffeine after lunch.
- Do not have a beer, a glass of wine, or any other alcohol within six hours of your bedtime.
- Do not have a cigarette or any other source of nicotine before bedtime.
- Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal near bedtime either.
- Avoid any tough exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
- Avoid sleeping pills, or use them cautiously.
- Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry.
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