Sleep hygiene refers to a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep faster and stay asleep. Achieving healthy sleep is important for physical and mental health and can help improve your productivity and overall quality of life. Signs of poor sleep quality may include repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night, experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders, and feeling tired or sleepy during the day despite getting enough sleep.
Good sleep hygiene is all about proactively working to optimize your sleep each night. Below are some simple tips that can help improve your sleep hygiene.
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, including on weekends and during vacations.
- Limit your exposure to bright light in the evenings by turning off or removing nearby electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Set an early enough bedtime to ensure you achieve 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing, and set the thermostat to a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Stay physically active during the day to help you fall asleep more easily at night.
- Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
When to Seek Help for Sleep Problems
If you experience persistent sleep problems that interfere with how you feel or function during the day, talk to your healthcare provider. Before visiting your provider, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends keeping a diary of your sleep habits for approximately ten days to discuss at the appointment. For more information on what to include in your sleep diary, visit the CDC website.