Healthy Sleep Habits
Most people have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, due to stress or other outside factors. If sleep problems are occurring on a more regular basis or begin to interfere with daily life, it may be due to a sleep disorder which can cause more than just sleepiness. The lack of quality rest can have a negative impact on energy, emotional balance, and overall health.
Although there are many things that affect sleep, there are numerous strategies and treatments available that can help. An important start to improve sleep is to identify and address any factors that may cause a sleep disturbance; including the contributing behaviors making it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep or have a restful night.
Daily routines such as diet, caffeine and alcohol intake, medications, schedules, and evening activities can significantly impact sleep quality. Making few slight adjustments can, in some cases, mean the difference between sound sleep and a restless night.
The term “Sleep Hygiene” refers to a series of habits and rituals that can improve the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Board certified sleep physicians recommends a few common-sense healthy sleep habits that will promote and lead to better sleep.
To improve the quality of sleep or overcome difficulties, try following these Sleep Hygiene tips. If sleep problem persists, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends seeking help from the sleep team at an AASM accredited sleep center such as the MUSC Sleep Center.
Quick Sleep Tips
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
- Set a bedtime that is early enough for to get at least seven hours of sleep.
- Don’t go to bed unless sleepy.
- If still awake after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
- Establish relaxing bedtime rituals.
- Use the bed only for sleep and sex.
- Make the bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to light in the evenings.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime.
- Reduce fluid intake before bedtime.