Sleep well,live well
Sleep hygiene-what is it?
Having good sleeping habits is known as sleep hygiene.Long-term solutions to insomnia and related sleep problems can be achieved using the principles of good sleep hygiene as outlined below.
The benefits of medication to facilitate sleep are often only effective in the short-term but adopting the strategies outlined in this article may provide you with a long-term solution if you are having difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
There are six essential things to do to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern and some other tips which may help as well.
First and foremost,go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
This will train your body and your brain to sleep soundly.It is best to do this even on days you are not working.
Secondly,have a sleep ritual before bedtime.
Getting ready for bed,brushing teeth,etc. in the same routine before bedtime every night is a good ritual to relax your body and train your brain to know that it is bedtime.
Thirdly,no naps in the daytime
Avoiding naps during the day or taking a short nap before 3pm for less than one hour will mean that you are likely to sleep better at night-time.
Number four-Avoid alcohol
It is a myth that alcohol aids sleep by making one relax.It actually disrupts sleep and impairs the quality of sleep so it is best avoided.
Number five-keep your bed only for sleeping.
There is one exception here-bed is also for sex but it is best to avoid reading,watching,t.v.,computer,eating etc. in bed.
In this way,your mind and body will come to associate bed for sleeping rather than these other activities.
Finally,take regular exercise
Exercise is essential for health in mind and body.One can exercise for it's own sake e.g. going to the gym or get exercise in the course of one's daily activities e.g. doing housework.
It is better to exercise early in the day rather than in the evening when it might interfere with natural tiredness near bedtime.
The following short video gives some sound advice similar to the six points outlined above. After you watch it, read on below for some other tips for healthy sleep
Some further tips to beat insomnia
Sleep when you feel tired or sleepy if you can rather than trying to sleep when wide awake-spending too much time awake in bed only reinforces the insomnia.
On a similar note,get up after twenty or thirty minutes of trying to sleep and do some boring task to facilitate sleepiness.It is best not to do anything stimulating to reinforce the wakefulness.
As with alcohol,caffeine and nicotine are best avoided before bedtime as they are both stimulants and will inhibit sleepiness and relaxation.
A hot bath preferably with a generous handful of epsom salts is a great way to induce relaxation and tiredness naturally.
Watching the clock will only reinforce the insomnia,especially if you have to turn on the light to do so.It is best to avoid looking at the clock frequently.
Eating a heavy meal shortly before bedtime will have a negative impact on sleep so avoid doing so.Likewise,going to bed on an empty stomach will cause wakefulness so a light snack an hour before bedtime can sometimes be a good idea.
Keep your bedroom cool with enough blankets for warmth and use heavy curtains to block out light if necessary.
Finally and most importantly,maintain your usual daytime routine insofar as possible even if you haven't slept well.Insomnia is reinforced if one avoids one's usual daily business following a restless night.
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