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Sleep Hygiene: Tips for Sleeping Better and Healthier

Apr 04

Getting a good night’s sleep is important in maintaining your health. There are several things you can do to promote good sleep and good sleep hygiene, ultimately leading to a better sleep routine through healthy sleep practices.

This article covers tips for sleeping better, sleep hygiene, sleep apnea, insomnia, finding a sleep specialist, and good sleep habits.

What is Sleep Hygiene

Ever wondered, what is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene is defined as behaviors that one can do to help promote good sleep using behavioral interventions. Paying attention to your sleep hygiene is one of the simplest ways that you can set yourself up for better sleep through good sleep habits.

Strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep. Keeping a stable sleep schedule, making your bedroom comfortable and free of disruptions, following a relaxing pre-bed routine, and building healthy habits during the day can all contribute to ideal sleep hygiene and healthy sleep routines.

Signs of Bad Sleep Hygiene

Improving sleep hygiene has little to no cost and virtually no risk, making it an important part of your overall health strategy. Having a hard time falling asleep, experiencing frequent sleep disturbances, and suffering daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. An overall lack of consistency in sleep quantity or quality can also be a symptom of poor sleep hygiene.

If you think you’re getting poor sleep, consider whether you possess any of these 3 tell-tale signs:

If you are experiencing any of these sleep issues, you likely need to develop good sleep habits to get yourself into a better nighttime routine. If you are experiencing more severe sleep issues, you may be suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea, or other conditions that require help from a sleep specialist or sleep doctor.

Effects of Poor Sleep Habits

The effects of poor sleep hygiene can be felt in many ways during our daily lives, and are just as potent as other sleep disorders. This can include, but is not limited to:

Exhausted woman sleeps at her desk

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene is all about putting yourself in the best position to sleep well each and every night.
Optimizing your sleep schedule, pre-bed routine, and daily routines is part of creating habits to make quality sleep feel more automatic. At the same time, creating a pleasant bedroom environment can be an invitation to relax and doze off.

A handful of tips for sleeping better can help in each of these areas. You can adapt these tips to fit your circumstances and create your own sleep hygiene checklist to help get the best sleep possible.

Setting Sleep Schedules

Having a set schedule normalizes sleep as an essential part of your day and gets your brain and body accustomed to getting the full amount of sleep that you need.

Create Sleep Routines

How you prepare for bed can determine how easily you’ll be able to fall asleep. A pre-sleep playbook including some of these tips for sleeping better can put you at ease and make it easier to get to fall asleep when you want to.

Develop Healthy Habits

It’s not just bedtime habits that play a part in getting good sleep. Incorporating positive routines during the day can support your circadian rhythm and limit sleep disruptions.

Improve Your Bedroom Environment

A central component of sleep hygiene beyond just habits is your sleep environment. To fall asleep more easily, you want your bedroom to be tranquil and relaxing. While what makes a bedroom inviting can vary from one person to the next, these tips may help make it calm and free of disruptions:

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If you snore loudly and feel tired even after a full night’s sleep, you might have sleep apnea. The main types of sleep apnea are:

If you think you might have sleep apnea, see your doctor or health provider. Treatment can ease your symptoms and might help prevent heart problems and other complications.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea overlap, sometimes making it difficult to determine which type you have. The most common signs and symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apneas include:

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up. Insomnia can not only drain your energy level and mood but also your health, work performance, and quality of life. How much sleep is enough varies from person to person, but most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

At some point, many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.

Symptoms of Insomnia

You don’t have to put up with sleepless nights. Simple changes in your daily habits and sleep hygiene can often help. If insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day, see your doctor or health provider to identify the cause of your sleep problem and how it can be treated. If your doctor thinks you could have a sleep disorder, you might be referred to a sleep specialist.

An African American couple sleeping while the man is snoring

Consult with a Sleep Specialist

The basic concept of sleep hygiene — that your environment and habits can be optimized for better sleep — applies to just about everyone, but what ideal sleep hygiene looks like can vary based on the person.
It’s also important to know that improving sleep hygiene won’t always resolve sleeping problems. People who have serious insomnia or sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from better sleep hygiene, but other treatments are usually necessary as well.

If you aren’t getting the rest your body and mind need, there are solutions. Consulting with a sleep specialist will help in determining what is causing your sleep problems and provide solutions to get you on track for a good night’s sleep and give you a more productive life.

If you are looking for a sleep specialist in Wichita, HealthCore Clinic can help. Our integrated care approach to care means that our clients have convenient, affordable access to improve their whole health and wellness all under one roof. Our medical and behavioral health teams can work with you to develop a healthy sleep plan, good sleep hygiene, good sleep habits, and make referrals if you require a specialist for insomnia, sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders.

Young calm African American woman model sleeping well with eyes closed lying in comfortable bed on orthopedic mattress lying on soft pillow at home having healthy night sleep relaxing in the morning.