Sleep Hygiene Program
Below you will find a series of strategies to help you with your sleep. Changing sleep patterns takes a few days/weeks so KEEP AT IT. Research has shown that if /when you make these changes; they kick in soon and translate to increased sleep, helping you feel refreshed, have more energy, less pain and improved mood. As you complete a task, check it off.
Set a time to go to bed.
No….1am is not an option
Lights off, TV off and computer off. One hour prior to your set bedtime, start quieting the house down.
No large volumes of water prior to going to bed to avoid going to the bathroom a lot.
Limit alcoholic beverages to early evening, this makes you go to the bathroom as well.
Bedroom should be dark and cool.
No kids or animals in bed.
Park your ideas. Put a notepad and pen next to your bed and write all last-minute thoughts down (pay bills, call Sally) so the brain can let it go.
In the hour prior to sleep; relax, breathe, stretch, meditate and/or read.
No checking e-mail prior to bed, this likely keeps your brain going.
If you can’t fall asleep right away, close your eyes and relax until you (finally) fall asleep. Studies have shown this quiet time translates to sleep soon and there’s an extra hour every night.
Have a set wake-up time. As with falling asleep, if you wake up early, stay in bed and relax with your eyes closed. This will eventually translate to sleep.
Keep caffeine to a minimum, especially later in the day.
No naps. Yes, this may make you want to tear up the paper but naps mess up evening sleep patterns. If you must, quick catnaps of no more than 20 minutes refresh but don’t mess with your sleep schedule.
Exercise. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, helps reduce stress chemicals in the body.
Medicine may be taken per your doctor’s advice.
For more information: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD