Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene

Issues associated with sleep, or lack thereof, usually lead us down a slippery slope to feeling unwell. Sometimes, when sleeping problems extend over a long period of time, it is useful to consult a doctor. In the meantime, however, there are things we can do that help us have a good sleep hygiene. Here are just a few examples of them, adapted from Carr (2020):

  • avoid naps during the day
  • try to go to bed at the same time each day
  • keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and at comfortable temperature
  • don’t exercise and eat large meals in the3 hours before bed
  • avoid drinking coffee, other stimulants and alcohol in the 3 hours before bed
  • limit drinking fluids shortly before bed
  • use your bedroom for sleep and sex only
  • do not work in your bedroom
  • if you don’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up and leave the bedroom until you are tired

Other tips I gathered from clients over the years, for whom they worked, include:

  • air your room before going to bed
  • change your bedsheets
  • tidy up your bedroom before sleep
  • put a bunch of dry lavender, or drops of lavender oil on your pillow
  • switch off your phone and avoid any screens at least an hour before bed
  • do not use your laptop in your bedroom at any time
  • if you use your bedroom as a study, cover the area with your laptop
  • when you can’t sleep, get up, take a piece of paper and write your deepest thoughts and feelings associated with reasons as to why you cannot sleep
  • when you are anticipating challenges next day and they keep you awake, take a piece of paper, and write down what you need to do tomorrow in bullet points
  • focus on your breathing
  • use ear plugs if your bedroom is noisy

References

Carr, A. (2020). Positive Psychology and you: A self-development guide. Routledge.