Good Sleep Habits
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is defined as “a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.”
The following considerations are best practices for good sleep habits:
- Most adults require 8 hours of sleep (independent of age).
- Go to bed and awaken at the same time each day.
- Avoid going to bed after midnight unless you work nights.
- Avoid vigorous exercise shortly before retiring.
- Avoid late afternoon/evening naps and do not allow yourself to doze off while reading or watching TV prior to bedtime. Even brief episodes of sleep may interfere with subsequent sleep.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine and smoking prior to sleep.
- Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids after 6 p.m.
- Warm baths (not showers) prior to bedtime can prove helpful for sleep.
- A dark and quiet environment is recommended for restful sleep.
- A fairly cool, rather then a warm bedroom is more conducive to quality sleep.
- If you have allergies to dust, dust mites and other common features of a typical bedroom, take steps to create a relatively allergen-free bedroom.
- Naps are best taken in the early afternoon and restricted to less than one hour. Do not take naps if you have trouble with insomnia.
- If possible, avoid medications that interfere with either sleep or alertness. This includes many over-the-counter remedies and herbal products. Discuss everything that you are taking with your doctor.
- Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
- Remove your watch before retiring, and do not look at the clock if you awaken during the night.