Rules for Sleep Hygiene
Proper sleep hygiene has 4 components:
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RULE 1: Have a regular schedule. Go to bed and wake-up at the same times, regardless of the day of the week.
RULE 2: Have a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Engage in a routine prior to sleep in order to prep the mind/body for sleep.
RULE 3: Ensure bedroom only used for sleep or intimacy. Only go to bed when drowsy. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed.
RULE 4: Limit the time you spend awake in bed. If you are awake in bed for 15-20 minutes, get up and leave bedroom. Engage in quiet activity until drowsy.
RULE 5: Avoid naps. Only nap if necessary to retain alertness (30 minutes maximum). Avoid napping 6-8 hours prior to sleep.
RULE 6: Have a dark bedroom. Avoid bright lights, because bright lights can disrupt sleep.
RULE 7: Set cool temperature (or comfortable temperature).Uncomfortably warm bedrooms disrupt sleep.
RULE 8: Avoid/minimize loud noises. Use ear plugs or “white noise” machines to minimize loud noises.
RULE 9: Have a bedroom free of potential allergens. Allergens can disrupt sleep because of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing.
RULE 10: Avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before sleep. Chocolate, some teas, coffee contain caffeine. Reasonable daily amount of caffeine is 1-2 cups of coffee.
RULE 11: Avoid alcohol 3-5 hours before sleep. Alcohol may helps sleep onset, but sleep will be fragmented and poor quality.
RULE 12: Avoid nicotine prior to sleep. Withdrawal symptoms can disrupt sleep.
RULE 13: Eat a light carbohydrate snack prior to sleep. Hunger can disrupt sleep. Avoid large meals prior to sleep. Avoid sugars and caffeine.
RULE 14: Exercise regularly. Regular exercise promotes a regular sleep/wake schedule. The body likes a routine.
RULE 15: Avoid strenuous exercise 3-5 hours before sleep.Exercise raises body temperature. During sleep body temperature lowers, and increased body temperature confuses the mind/body of the regular sleep/wake schedule.