Top Ten Sleep Hygiene Tips
My therapist gave me this great sheet of sleeping tips that will help with my sleep hygiene. Insomnia is always an issue in my life, so I thought today I’d share each one of these tips and if any have helped me. These tips hep added one to two hours a day of sleep. My sleep issues will never be perfect but sleep is the first step in self-care.
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#10 – Keep your bedroom dark.
#9 – Get lots of natural light in the morning
This one is a good one. I went out and bought myself a lightbox to help in the cloudy coastal weather we often get where I am from, but going for a walk helps as well. I use my light box even in good weather for 30-45 minutes a day. It varies for each doctor recommendation. I never realized how important natural light is to mental health and sleep.
#8 – Don’t work on your computer late at night, or if you do get an application like “flux” to minimize the amount of bright light you’re exposed to.
This is a tough one for me. I always work the best writing late at night on my laptop, tablet, and even my phone (especially in bed). Often a great idea will come to me while I am laying down and I naturally grab my phone and making notes on my thoughts. I thought a great alternative could be making my journal more accessible or maybe a small pad of paper and a pen.
#7 – Don’t nap during the day.
This is an easy one for me to do. I barely can get to sleep at night, so it’s impossible during the day.
#6 – No Caffeine 3 hours or more after wake-up time.
This is the most unfair one in my opinion and the one that I regularly break. To compromise I made a promise to my therapist for no coffee after 12pm. For the most part, I stick to this plan and it has worked well.
#5 – Only use your bed for sleeping or romantic activities
More times than not at night I find myself in bed writing, and out these tips, this has been the hardest to give up in my life. I write so much better at night. I always have my phone at arms reach writing notes for chapters I will be writing the next day or ideas for my next blog post. I once started writing a chapter in a piece I was writing in at the start of my “sleep schedule,” only to find out it was 4am when I stopped.
#4 – Figure out if you’re a night person or a day person.
For this one, they recommend figuring it out and making a sleep schedule. I have learned that I am a night person who can’t sleep during the day. I must do my best at night to get as much sleep as possible.
#3 – Get a relaxation routine before bed.
The list says that this varies from person to person. Meditation? Taking a bath? Listen to easy listening music or a podcast? This is really what works for you, which I still struggle because writing relaxes me and they recommend not to have a bright screen in bed.
#2 – If you can’t sleep after 15 to 30 minutes get out of bed and do something relaxing.
#1 – Don’t drink alcohol in the evening.
The last one is easy for me. I have been working on these tips to better my sleep hygiene but it’s a work in progress. Let me know if any of these tips help, or if you have others to add!
Photo Credit: unsplash-logoHernan Sanchez