What is sleep hygiene?
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Getting a good nights sleep is important for our overall wellbeing. In this post you will learn what sleep hygiene is and science based tips to improve your quality of sleep.
Sleep hygiene is a series of healthy habits that increases your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Practicing good sleep hygiene is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a good nights rest.
It is important to create a routine of healthy sleep promoting behaviors. This can be hard to do, so make sure to make change gradually over time. This increases the chances of sticking to a healthy sleep routine. It is easy to fall back on less healthy sleep habits and doing so can cause negative consequences.
How do you know if you have poor sleep hygiene?
Those with poor sleep hygiene struggle to fall asleep and experience sleep disturbances, which may lead to daytime sleepiness. If you notice an overall poor consistency in sleep quantity, and/or quality, you might have poor sleep hygiene.
Some tip to good sleep hygiene are:
Follow a set schedule for when you wake up and go to bed.
Only use the bed for sleep. This means, don't hang out in the bed during the day. Before you ask, yes its ok to use the bed for sex but keep the time you spend in bed during the day to a minimum.
Give yourself about 30 minutes to wind down at the end of the night. That includes not being on any technology and making your bedroom calm with dim light.
Cut back on caffeine
Try a diffuser with lavender oil
Ok, so say you're doing these things and still can't fall asleep. Well, if you're tossing and turning and its been more then 20 minutes... keep the lights dim and get out of bed. You can stretch, or read something not super exciting like the dictionary. Do calming activities until you feel sleepy.
Can therapy help with my sleep hygiene?
If you find your mind racing, therapy can provide a space to process through life stressors. A therapist also helps by teaching coping skills that will better prepare you to manage issues faced during the day. Therapists can also work with you in implementing healthy changes in multiple facets of your life.
If you are interested in therapy, I am located in the KC metro for in person session or I can offer telehealth services to anyone in the state of Kansas.