Good sleep is necessary for maintaining optimal mental and physical health. Here are some tools to help improve your sleep hygiene today!
1. Have a Sleep Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try not to sleep in more than an extra hour on your days off.
2. Start a Bed-Time Routine: Create a night-time ritual to prepare your body and mind for sleep.
3. Don’t Force Yourself to Sleep: If you can’t sleep after 20 minutes, get up and do a calming activity. Try to avoid screens which can make you feel more awake.
4. Avoiding substances: Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can affect your sleep. Make a caffeine cutoff time because caffeine can stay in your system up to 12 hours!
5. Avoid Napping: Try to take a nap for an hour or less if you need to.
6. Only Use your Bed for Sleep & Sex: Do not associate your bed with wakeful activities. Avoid watching tv, scrolling through your phone, and other activities in bed.
7. Exercise and Eat Well: Exercise and a healthy diet can help with sleep. Avoid a big meal or intense exercise 2 hours before sleeping.
8. Sleep in a Comfortable Place: Your room should be dark, quiet, and comfortable. Use a mask and ear plugs if needed!
9. Do not panic: If you can’t sleep, remind yourself that you are still resting. Do not get up for the day and give up on sleep. Tell yourself that being awake is not a catastrophe.
10. What to do if you are anxious or overthinking: Focus on how your body feels and what you can do to release the anxiety. Try some grounding skills from my previous post. Write down any worries you are having. Listen to a calming podcast or YouTube video. Try a guided meditation app or YouTube video. Progressive Muscle Relaxation videos have helped me to fall asleep and relax my body by slowly tensing then relaxing my muscles.
Note: Do what works best for you. Some people may fall asleep better with the television on, or can drink caffeine all night without it effecting them. These are tips mainly based on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills that are general and helpful especially if you have ongoing insomnia.
Comment your favorite sleep hygiene tip!