Sleep Hygiene:
Tips for Getting Better Sleep 

This page's topic is Sleep Hygiene.  

There are many components which go into healthy living.

One of the most important ones is to learn how to get better sleep.

These tips will guide you in different areas to accomplish getting better sleep. 

 

As each of these is mentioned, apply them to yourself.

Give them ample time to provide you with success in sleeping better now and in the future as well. 

     1.  Keep a regular sleep schedule 

There are different sleep schedules for people who have shift work, have children at home and many other reasons too.

Each person has to develop their own routine for getting better sleep. There are times when a person’s health or another person in the home can disrupt a regular sleep routine.

It is good sleep fitness to return to a regular sleep pattern as soon as possible after those personal events get resolved.

Meanwhile, some rest during the daytime hours will help resolve the sleep loss that occurs at night. When the body needs sleep, the signs should not be dismissed.

Consider going to bed to sleep and not to watch television, read or relive the entire day’s events.

Plan on going to bed to get at least six hours of sleep before you get into your daily routine.

When you discover you require more sleep, expand those hours to permit what is needed for better sleep.

Going to bed the same time every night is a great way to acquire a routine and get better sleep.

      2. Regulate your sleep/awake cycles in a natural way 

Rather than rely on over-the-counter or prescribed sleep/awake medication, try some natural ideas for improving your sleep hygiene and being more alert when awake too.

There are times when people respond well to soft nature sounds at bedtime. These recordings can be purchased or individually made with the tones you prefer to hear.

When there is a gap in the sleep cycle and you are awake, it is best to get out of bed, walk around and get tired before you return to go to sleep again.

Restart your recordings to assist you to get back to sleep.

Gently massaging the temples yourself or done by another person can induce healthy, natural sleep if a loving touch is used.

Remember mattresses do not last forever.

Think of when you last bought a healthy sleep system.

Your budget might be stretched for a good mattress and box spring, but think of the benefits of that wise expenditure. 

      3.  Maintaining a relaxing bedtime routine 

Prepare the area where you will be sleeping so you will be getting better sleep. Plan to have adequate blankets, pillows and ample space.

Try to have as little light as possible in the room where you will be sleeping. Use window-darkening drapes to assist you in getting to sleep. 

Have a nightlight nearby if that will give you comfort. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, raucous activity or crisis situations before bedtime.

Try several modalities to find which ones help you sleep. If you have a partner who disrupts your sleep, think about separate beds or a mattress that will not move and disturb you when they cannot sleep. 

      4. Exercise regularly and have a healthy diet 

Good eating habits and fitness are part of healthy living and contribute to proper sleep hygiene too. 

These are often neglected in the busy lives people have today. Make time for exercise at least three times a week. Talk to your doctor so graduated exercise will coincide with your personal health requirements.

Write down meal plans according to dietary restrictions so you maintain good health.

It is a known fact that people can have a disruptive sleep pattern simply because they ate a full meal too soon before retiring at night.

Allow at least three to four hours between the end of the meal and bedtime to let healthy digestion be well underway before trying to go to sleep.

Most often, it is best to not exercise immediately before trying to sleep. Some gentle exercises can be beneficial to getting better sleep when that works well for you. 

Try a gentle, short walk in the fresh air to see if it might be conducive to getting better sleep.

      5. Manage Stress/Anxiety

When stress and anxiety interfere with getting to sleep, several ideas can remedy those.

Write down activities for the following day if anxieties of those events are bothersome and preventing a good sleep hygiene.

This can be as brief or extensive as you want it to be for a healthful aid to better sleep.

A diary of your personal feelings that might interrupt a good sleep pattern is best if written so they do not keep entering your mind to prevent comfortable sleep also.

This could very well be done anytime during the day, so don’t leave it to the night when it can prevent better sleep.

Avoid high stress situations whenever possible or if they cannot be diminished, talk them over with a trusted friend or counselor before they take root in your life and stop you from affecting your sleep hygiene. 

      6. How to get back to sleep 

Find out what woke you up to begin with, before you attempt to go back to sleep.

If it is something you ate, drank, the fact that you were dreaming or having a nightmare, solve those by fully examining them.

This might take a few minutes, but prevent this from reoccurring another night or even that same night. Write these discoveries down so they are not forgotten in the morning.

Find resolutions for these sleep obstacles and make changes so you get back to sleep. Some people read and get sleepy, so that should be done sitting up and then immediately going back to bed. Put on headphones for soothing sounds to lull you back to sleep. 

      7. When should you see a sleep doc? 

Sleep deprivation creates all kinds of health issues.

Concentration is an effort, staying awake is sometimes an effort as well.

Appetite is affected by not getting enough sleep and so is urinating and bowel movements.

Agitation, short temper, and even difficulty walking properly are present when a person does not have proper sleep hygiene.

Any or all of these can greatly affect a person at home or working outside the house and could require seeing a sleep doctor for help. Bring a record of your sleep routine to your doctor when you go for your next visit. If your concerns are immediate, make an appointment sooner rather than allowing your sleep loss to continue to prevent good health.

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