Monday, December 22, 2014

Sleep Hygiene

What is sleep hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices that are necessary to have normal, quality nighttime sleep and full daytime alertness.

What are some examples of good sleep hygiene?

    Photo Credit
According to the Sleep Foundation:
The most important sleep hygiene measure is to maintain a regular wake and sleep pattern seven days a week. It is also important to spend an appropriate amount of time in bed, not too little, or too excessive. This may vary by individual; for example, if someone has a problem with daytime sleepiness, they should spend a minimum of eight hours in bed, if they have difficulty sleeping at night, they should limit themselves to 7 hours in bed in order to keep the sleep pattern consolidated. In addition, good sleep hygiene practices include:

If you saw my earlier post on sleep, You know that I do not keep a regular sleep schedule. I am a night owl, I am sleepy all day and as soon as I get home, I am wide awake and ready to pull an all nighter, On this note, I tend to stay up late on the weekend, since I only sleep at a decent hour during the week because I have to.

The sleep foundation also recommends the following sleep hygiene
  • Avoid napping during the day. It can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness.
           Sigh... When I have a night like last night I tend to sleep in my car at lunch time. My work 
           requires a ton of focus and attention and I cannot work when I am groggy. I am certain that    
           once I get my regular sleep more controlled, I will do a much better job at skipping the lunch
            time naps.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime. While alcohol is well known to speed the onset of sleep, it disrupts sleep in the second half as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing arousal.
           This is easy for me, for the most part, I don't drink, but I chain smoke at home and I drink my
           mountain dew all the way up to bedtime. I have always said the Mountain Dew didn't effect
           my sleep, because I was able to fall asleep with a bottle in my hand, like a baby, but as I get
           older and come to terms with my sleep problems, I am perhaps a little more ready to admit this
           is a problem for me.
  • Exercise can promote good sleep. Vigorous exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. A relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night's sleep.
          LOL, if you read my last post, you know that I am not exercising, so I highly doubt that too
          much exercise is causing my sleeping issues, quite likely the opposite problem.
  • 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.
          I am not ready to explore this one just yet, I eat late sometimes and this is another one that will
          be harder to break.
  • 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.
  • Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don't dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
  • Associate your bed with sleep. It's not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
         Oops, I read, blog, watch TV and almost anything else in my bed, apparently except sleep, so
         this one is one I am going to need to work for.

Well, my warm Epsom salt, lavender bath awaits me, as well as my pillow. Hope you can get some sleep tonight, Me and my sleep cycle analyzer will see you tomorrow with our updated results and some more plans for preparing for eating right.


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