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Sleep Hygiene

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According to the National Sleep Foundation sleep hygiene is defined as, "a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nightime sleep and full daytime alertness". There are a number of habits and practices suggested to help create and maintain healthy sleep hygiene. One of the most important is to maintain a regular wake and sleep pattern seven days a week. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. If you have daytime sleepiness aim for eight, if you have difficulty sleeping try seven. Other important ideas for healthy sleep hygiene include:

  • Avoid daytime napping
  • Avoid stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, nicotine) too close to bedtime
  • Exercise regularly
  • Ensure adequate exposure to natural light in order to maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle
  • Remember that food can be disruptive before bed (chocolate contains caffeine, spicy foods can irritate your digestion as can large meals too close to bedtime).
  • Establish a regular and relaxing bedtime routine - avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before bed. Don't dwell on or bring your problems to bed either. 
  • Associate your bed with sleeping and not as a place to watch tv.
  • Create a sleep environment that is pleasant and relaxing. Make sure you have a comfortable bed, a dark enough room and a space that is neither too hot nor cold.

Find and maintain your perfect sleep hygiene and get the best sleep of your life.

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