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What is sleep Hygiene means?

'Sleep hygiene' means habits that help you have a good night's sleep. Common sleeping problems (such as insomnia) are often caused by bad habits reinforced over years. You can learn to retrain your body and mind so that you sleep well and wake feeling rested.

  • Have a comfortable bedroom, dark and quiet. If light is a problem, use heavy curtains over the windows. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature (23 degree C).
  • Reserve the bedroom for sleeping. Do not use it for watching TV.
  • Avoid caffeine contained liquid (coffee/ tea etc.) within 6 - 8 hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol: while alcohol may help one to fall asleep initially, it generally causes the restorative quality of sleep to suffer.
  • Avoid computer screens and phone screens shortly before bed.
  • Do not do any serious exercise for three hours before bedtime.
  • Relax for a while before going to sleep.
  • Avoid naps in the evening
  • Food can be disruptive right before sleep.  Stay away from large meals close to bedtime. Also dietary changes can cause sleep problems, if someone is struggling with a sleep problem, it's not a good time to start experimenting with spicy dishes. And, remember, chocolate has caffeine.
  • Ensure adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle
  • Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every day, seven days a week, so that your body has a better chance of adapting to the desired schedule. This is of particular importance for people with circadian sleep disorders
  • Reduce your fluid (water/juice) intake before bedtime to avoid the interruptions of your sleep for urination.
  • Invest in a mattress that is neither too hard nor too soft.
  • Have shower in cold water before going to the bed to cool down your body. High body temperature and sweating due to activities in the day time prevent you to have a good sleep.
  • Control the noise penetrating into your bed room. If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbors), buy a pair of earplugs

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au