Have You Heard of "Sleep Hygiene"?

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Sleep hygiene encompasses practices and habits that foster good, quality sleep. American Sleep Association recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for adults and 8 to 10 hours of sleep for teenagers. Often though, people tend to under sleep  more than to oversleep. And this they do for a number of reasons, including sleep disorders.


Observing sleep hygiene can improve the quality of your sleep, thereby improving quality of life. With optimum sleep comes optimum levels of energy, concentration, memory, and more. Optimum sleep is key to productivity, efficiency, and zest for work, play, and just life itself.


So let's talk about sleep hygiene. What are some practices and habits you should  observe?

  1. Establish a consistent sleeping and waking schedule. Shifting work hours may make this difficult. But if you can, try to set a consistent time at which you will retire yourself for bed. Weekend schedule may differ from weekday schedule. That's okay as long as sleeping hours are regular on both sets.
  2. Avoid mental and physical exertion nearing bedtime hours.
  3. Aromatherapy may help relax your body and mind. Scent the bedroom at night with lavender oil for example. Study shows it can help improve sleep and treat anxiety.
  4. Lessen lighting at night or use sleep patches or masks.
  5. Avoid stimulants close to bedtime hours. Stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and more.
  6. Ease into sleeping hours by listening to soothing music. Reader's Digest devotes an article to the benefits of classical music, which includes, improvement in sleep.
  7. Observe short naps and take them earlier in the day. 20 minutes or less may be best since long naps can put your body in a state of grogginess
  8. Devote regular time for exercise earlier in the day. Otherwise, endeavor to be physically active. Activity helps you expend excess energy.
  9. Warm baths may cause the body to relax and go into rest mode.
  10. Devote your bed for sleep and sex only. Avoid bringing your work to bed. Train your mind to associate your bed with sleeping and dozing off.
  11. Avoid large meals at night. If you need a heavy dinner, time it earlier.
  12. Lessen intake of liquids so you don't need to get up in the middle of the night to urinate.
  13. Use a mattress and pillow suitable for your back and body.
  14. Natural supplements like melatonin may be a short-term option as you retrain your body to observe sleep hygiene.
  15. Endeavor to maintain a normal body weight. Being overweight tends to cause breathing and sleeping problems.
  16. Wean yourself from the need of watching television in order to fall asleep. Keep it out of the bedroom.
  17. Apply body massage and stretching techniques. These lessen body tension and releases stress. Here are some reps to follow: 

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