So my challenge for you today is "to get your 7-8 hours of good quality sleep" by implementing these simple sleep hygeine strategies.
- More exercise during the day and avoid strenuous exercise prior to sleep.
- Make a commitment to sleep at a particular time for example 1030pm at night and stick to it so that it will become a habit. Also, try to wake up at a regular time as well for example, 730am. Remember that it can take up to 50 days of consistent behaviour for things to become habit so please persevere.
- If you have a list of things to do and think about, write it down and tell yourself to leave it for the next "working" day.
- Obviously, avoid coffee and tea late in the day due to the caffeine content. Also avoid smoking as it can act as a stimulant. Alcohol may help with sleep but has an impact on the quality of sleep.
- Avoid daytime naps.
- Create a sleep inducing environment eg dark room and quiet.
- Taking a warm shower may help as the lowering of the temperature post shower may help with sleep induction.
- Early morning sunlight stimulation may help to "reset the body clock".
- Use bed for sleep only as this will help to condition your mind that "bed is for sleep".
- Avoid long term use of sleeping tablets as these are generally short term gain and long term pain.
- If one requires an antidepressant for depression or anxiety, some antidepressants have a better profile for sleeping. Please ask you Doctor regarding these.
Dr Vin Tran
MBBS FRACGP University of Qld