What on earth is ‘sleep hygiene’?

Hotel RoomThis sleep business has some funny jargon, I’ve been discovering. It took me a while to find out that sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnoea as the NHS puts it was a particularly acute type of snoring* then people keep banging on about ‘sleep hygiene’.

What on earth did they mean? Grubby sheets, failure to shower before bedtime, dust under the bed? No – turns out it refers to your pre-sleep routine or basically good bedtime habits that will promote a restful night’s sleep

These are pretty well catalogued if you look at any sleep site but rather harder to put into practice

* having a comfortable bed with a pillow that suits the way you sleep and appropriate bedding for the time of year (i.e. not too heavy in summer)

* having a cool, well-ventilated room and curtains or blinds that block out natural light and keeping the lights low before bed-time

* having a regular bedtime and waking-up time so your body knows when to go to sleep. These should enable you to get enough sleep: opinions differ on this but in the region of 7-8 hours

* avoiding drinks that are high in caffeine, particularly strong coffee, from early afternoon onwards

* avoiding drinking too much alcohol (that’s obviously good for other reasons) especially just before bed

* avoiding heavy meals in the evening, again particularly close to bedtime

* not catching up on sleep late in the day. A short post-lunch nap is OK but not a 5pm crash-out

* taking some outdoor exercise during the day – preferably before or straight after work rather than in the evening

* and – probably most important of all – switching off all electronic devices including tablets and phones at least an hour before bed-time. That apparently includes watching TV in bed 😦

Daunting, huh? But possible as I outlined in an earlier post though there are still a number of aspects I’m working on ….

There’s a useful longer post on the patient.co.uk website.

*although there is a critical difference according to this very informative NHS video

Image © jolopes – Fotolia.com

This entry was posted in Bedrooms, Sleep remedies. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to What on earth is ‘sleep hygiene’?

  1. Catherine M. says:

    Well stated!! Its amazing how many factors contribute to a proper nights sleep…

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