Many of us have well developed habits and routines related to personal hygiene – brushing our teeth, washing our hands, taking showers, etc. But how about sleep hygiene? “Sleep hygiene” refers to healthy sleep habits – the behaviors we engage in that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep.
As a society, personal hygiene is an easy sell; we can clearly see and understand how cleanliness in our environment and bodies can support our health. Sleep hygiene however, is often overlooked – but it is just as important!
Poor sleep has been linked to weakened immunity, memory issues, trouble with thinking and concentration, and even mood changes. No matter how “okay” we feel, the science shows that if we are sleeping poorly, we are not operating at our best.
Below are a few resources to help support healthy sleep hygiene. We recommend adding one or two new habits to your bedtime routine – small changes can make a big difference.
Here are some tips to help you ensure that your sleep is actually restful.
- Sleep and wake up at the same time every night – this is important!
- Don’t have caffeine within 8 hours of your bedtime
- Avoid blue lights and screens at least one hour before bed.
- Follow a bedtime routine that is calming and screen free – reading, journaling, meditation are some options.
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible – and dim the lights before getting into bed – start with at least 10 minutes before.
- How is the temperature? Make sure it is cool and comfortable.
- Don’t check your phone right when you wake up! Create a morning routine that is calming and creates structure in your day. Try a morning meditation or stretch, brushing your teeth, and/or having breakfast before checking your phone.
Here are some things that CDNIS students have said that they have found useful as it pertained to sleep:
“Separate my work space and where I sleep [is useful]” – CDNIS student.
“I have tried to organize a schedule, which allows me to exercise, eat healthy and sleep early.” – CDNIS Student
“…actually sleep more so I can be more focused!” – CDNIS Student
“… to help keep my sleeping schedule steady.” – CDNIS Student
“I found that you should not look at electronics 1 hour before going to sleep, that helped me a lot.” – CDNIS Student