As you continue to develop good health habits to improve the quality of your sleep, consider adopting good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene simply refers to the practices that promote continuous and effective sleep.
Another way to look at it is this: Sleep hygiene is simply establishing healthy sleep habits. There are 25 good sleep hygiene habits that will enable most people to fall asleep and stay asleep.
1. The most important sleep hygiene tip is to establish a regular bedtime as well as a regular time of waking up in the morning. Make this a habit, and stick to the schedule on weekends and even during vacations. Do not be haphazard about it, but based on your work schedule, set aside eight hours for sleep and a time to be in bed. For myself, I choose to be in bed between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m.
2. Use your bed only for sleep and sexual relations. Do not use your bed for reading, watching TV, snacking, working or worrying.
3. Avoid naps after 3:00 p.m. When they are taken earlier in the day, make sure they are not longer than 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Exercise before dinner. Exercising too close to bedtime disrupts sleep.
5. Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
6. Avoid excessive fluids in the late evening and especially before bedtime.
7. Eat normal portion sizes of a well-balanced meal at dinnertime approximately three to four hours before bedtime as well as a light bedtime snack. Do not go to bed hungry, and do not eat a large meal prior to bedtime.
8. Take a warm bath one to two hours before bedtime, and consider adding lavender oil if desired in order to help you relax.
9. Keep the bedroom cool and well ventilated.
10. Purchase a comfortable mattress, pillow and linens. (Check out a 3-inch Tempur-Pedic pad to put on top of your mattress.) Remember, you spend roughly one-third of your life in bed; therefore, your bed should be your most important piece of furniture.
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SOURCE: Charisma News
Don Colbert, M.D.