Healthy Sleep Habits
Many of us have issues with healthy sleep habits. Medical professionals use the term sleep hygiene. Whatever you choose to call it, healthy sleep habits can contribute to better health and well being.
The American Academy for Sleep Medicine lists the following recommendations for improving sleep habits for adults:
- Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine in late afternoon or evening.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule and go to bed early enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.
- Don’t go to bed if you aren’t sleepy and get out of bed if you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed.
- You should establish a relaxing routine prior to bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet and relaxing with a cool, comfortable temperature.
- Dim your lights to limit exposure to bright lights before bedtime.
- Don’t eat a large meal right before bedtime. Reduce fluid intake also right before bedtime.
- Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed.
- Use your bed only for sleep and sex.
- Get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet.
Good sleep habits have been shown to improve overall health and wellness. Some studies have shown an increase in productivity in workers who have better sleep hygiene.
Some recent studies conclude that getting 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night have been linked to an increased risk of depression, as well as other mental illness. Long-term sleep deprivation can even cause neurocognitive dysfunction (the inability to think clearly) and a host of other issues.
If you have trouble sleeping try some of the recommendations on this list. If your insomnia persists despite trying these recommendations it may be time to consult with a sleep specialist. A board-certified sleep physician is highly trained in sleep medicine and can help treat your insomnia so you can experience the benefits of healthy sleep hygiene.
For further information on healthy sleep visit the Healthy Sleep site of the American Academy for Sleep Medicine.