5 Tips for Better Sleep Hygiene

Practicing a few healthy habits before bedtime and knowing what to avoid can help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep for a restful night.

Turn off bright lights about 30 minutes before bed time. This means decreasing TV time, cell phone time, and bright lamps. Your sleeping space should be dark and quiet, allowing your mind and body to wind down.

Establish a bedtime routine. Consistently participating in an activity before bedtime such as meditation, taking a warm shower, or journaling can help you relax and let your body know it is ready for bed. In addition, activities like meditation or journaling are great for stress reduction!

Sleep and wake at similar times. Have a set bedtime and wake up time and try not to change it too much. Your body has a natural sleep rhythm and having a regular schedule helps to normalize it.

Avoid heavy foods or stimulants before bedtime. Beverages containing caffeine should be limited in the few hours before falling asleep. In addition, foods such as fried foods, spicy meals, or heavy dishes can upset your stomach if lying down shortly after eating. They can also contribute to indigestion and can make you feel uncomfortable.

Engage in regular exercise. Even 10 daily minutes of cardiovascular exercise (such as walking after dinnertime) has been shown to have positive effects on your sleep later on. 

Christine Steinmetz