Hygiene is defined as conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease, especially through cleanliness. So sleep hygiene are the activities that help us maintain and create better sleep!
We’ve already asked you to consider how you’ve been sleeping and given some education regarding sleep disturbance. Today we’re going to take a dive into changes you can make to improve your sleep hygiene if you hare having sleep disturbance issues including trouble falling asleep, wakefulness and insomnia.
In a perfect world, our sleep patterns would follow our daily patterns – we sleep when it’s dark, when we’re tired and wake when we feel rested. Unfortunately the day to day ins and outs of life, responsibilities and schedules beyond our control can impact what times we have available for sleep and when we have to wake up. The ideal sleep environment is a dark, cool, comfortable space, without screens and constant interruptions. Perfect is often not possible.
Tips to improve sleep hygiene:
Shoot for a consistent bedtime. Try to aim for the same 15 minute range of time to be in bed each night.
Prior to bedtime (about 1 to 2 hours) stop use of screen based devices (TVs, Tablets, Computers and phones). If you absolutely have to use one, make sure the blue light filter is on. Your brain sees blue based light as daylight which keeps you awake.
Try to take a warm/hot shower or bath prior to bed. The shift in temps from the warm bathing environment to the cool bed helps the body physically slow down and relax for sleep.
Guided meditation can further help the body relax, the mind calm and drift off to dreamland.
Noise machines (white noise, fans, rain sounds) can help, but can be a challenge if it’s not able to travel with you.
Don’t beat yourself up when you are having trouble sleeping. Obsessing over NOT sleeping amps you up and keeps you awake! Focus on the fact that while you might not be asleep you are still resting your body, and that is a step in the right direction.
These ideas can definitely help get you some more restful nights – but if you still find yourself struggling it might be worth talking to a professional therapist for some assistance. We are here for you! Please call to schedule an appointment at (234) 466-6274 or use our contact page and leave us a message.