Sleep Hygiene Practices to Improve Your Sleep and Health

Sleep Hygiene Practices

The average adult needs at least seven hours of daily sleep to maintain good health. Sleep is essential for our mental and physical wellbeing. If you aren’t getting enough rest, improving your sleep hygiene may enhance sleep quality.

What Is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene refers to our habits that affect how much sleep we get each night. According to the CDC, over 35% of adults in the United States experience short sleep, defined as less than seven hours in 24 hours.

Implementing good sleep hygiene can help improve your overall health and wellbeing by reducing stress levels, increasing energy levels, and boosting productivity. Plus, poor sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and even cancer.

Investing in better sleep is an investment in your health!

What Are Signs of Poor Sleep?

Do you know if you are receiving adequate sleep? Poor sleep isn’t always apparent. Consider how you feel and function throughout the day.

Here’s what you should be looking out for:

  • Insomnia – Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Fatigue – Feeling tired during the day
  • Headaches – Aching head, neck, or temples
  • Snoring – Loud snoring
  • Daytime drowsiness – Feeling groggy when waking up
  • Lack of focus – Trouble concentrating on tasks
  • Memory lapses – Forgetting things
  • Restlessness – Becoming easily distracted
  • Irritability – Feeling angry or agitated more often

Eight Steps for Improved Sleep

  1. Maintain a Sleep Schedule – Create a consistent nighttime routine. Try going to bed at the same time every night. Avoid napping during the day.
  2. Turn off Electronics – Avoid screens at least one hour before bedtime, and don’t use them while trying to fall asleep.
  3. Exercise Regularly – Regular exercise helps reduce stress and improve sleep. It also boosts energy levels.
  4. Avoid Caffeine – Don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon. Consider all sources of caffeine, like chocolate, soda, and tea.
  5. Get Enough Sunlight – Exposure to sunlight regulates circadian rhythms, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
  6. Optimize Your Sleep Space – Make sure your bedroom is free from distractions like noise and bright lights. Keep clutter away from your bed. Use soft lighting and maintain a cool room temperature.
  7. Limit Alcohol Consumption – Drinking alcohol before bedtime can disrupt your sleep cycle.
  8. Deal with Sleep Apnea – Sleep apnea causes shallow and disrupted breathing during sleep, interrupting normal sleep patterns and leading to health problems. Seek a diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea.

Foster Positive Sleep Habits for Improved Health

Implement healthy sleep habits. A focus on better sleep can improve your health and quality of life. Good sleep hygiene creates a restorative practice with a focus on wellness. However, we recommend that patients with trouble sleeping visit their healthcare provider.

Some medical issues can contribute to poor sleep, like sleep apnea, anxiety, and high blood pressure. In combination with healthy habits, medical support may improve your sleep.

Contact Founders Family Medicine to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted healthcare professionals.