Falling asleep may feel like an impossible task when you are wide awake at 3 AM, but good sleep is more under your control than you might assume. Following healthy sleep habits can make the difference between a restful or restless slumber.
iSLeep Program, a well-known sleep clinic in Brooklyn, New York, offers a list of strategies that can help anyone maximize the hours they spend sleeping – even those whose sleep is affected by jet lag, shift work, or insomnia.
Ever heard of sleep hygiene? Essentially, it is a variety of different habits and practices that are essential to have good nighttime sleep quality.
Here are some sleep hygiene do’s and don’ts from your trusted sleep disorder center in New York City, New York:
- Stick to a regular sleeping schedule (same bedtime and wake-up time) every day.
- When it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. While alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, too much of it close to bedtime can disrupt sleep in the second half of the night as your body begins to process the alcohol.
- Do relaxation exercises before going to bed, such as progressive muscle relaxation and mindful breathing.
- Exercise to promote good quality sleep. Exercising at least 10 minutes per day (specifically aerobic exercises, like cycling or walking) can improve nighttime sleep quality.
- Ensure that your sleep environment is relaxing and pleasant. Your bed and pillows should be comfortable and your room should not be too bright, too cold, or too hot. If necessary, use an eye mask and earplugs.
- Don’t drink caffeinated drinks close to bedtime. This includes coffee, iced tea, soda, and energy drinks.
- Don’t give in to the urge to nap during the day – it can disturb your normal sleep/wakefulness pattern. If you do end up napping, limit it to 20-30 minutes.
- Don’t perform strenuous exercises close to bedtime.
- Do not eat, work, or watch TV in your bed – associate it with sleep only.
- Don’t use the computer, spend long periods of time on a mobile device, or watch TV before bed. These activities can stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Don’t eat foods that can be disruptive right before sleep. This includes fatty or fried meals, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, rich or heavy foods, and spicy dishes. These types of foods and drinks can trigger indigestion for some people and when it occurs close to bedtime, it may lead to painful heartburn that can disrupt sleep.
When Sleep Hygiene Is Not Enough
Oftentimes, sleep hygiene alone is enough to help you sleep better. The tricky part is having the self-discipline to stick with these strategies.
However, if you have followed these sleep hygiene strategies and still find that you are not sleeping well on a regular basis, it might be time to consider our insomnia therapy and sleep apnea therapy in Bronx, New York.