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  • Writer's pictureJason Ranieri

Trouble Sleeping? Practice Sleep Hygiene

Sleep is essential to maintaining good mental health and maintaining our immune systems so we can stay healthy and fight infections. During this crisis where every day brings new challenges, advice, information, and restrictions, anxiety and insomnia are on the rise. While anxiety and stress can interfere with sleep, not getting good sleep can increase anxiety, stress, and depression. How do you break this cycle? The answer is to get better sleep through practicing good sleep hygiene.

Consistency Is Key Create a sleep schedule. Set a wake up time and a bedtime and stick to it. Don’t make exceptions for weekends or other days off.

Set The Scene You want your bedroom to be quiet, dark, relaxing, and the temperature to be slightly cool but comfortable. In regards to noise, if you have noise that is troublesome over which you have no control, try to use “white noise” to drown out troublesome noise. Try a fan, sound machine, calm music, etc.

Use Your Bed For Sleep and Sex Only Don’t read, study, work, eat, watch television, or use your various electronic devices in bed. Reserving bed for sleep and sex tells your mind and body that when you lay down in bed, it’s time for sleep (or sex 😊).

If You Can’t Sleep, Get Up Struggling to sleep in bed tells your mind and body that the bed is a place for anxiety and frustration. If after bedtime you are tossing and turning in bed and cannot sleep, get out of bed and do something. Come back to bed when you feel sleepy and try again.

Watch Caffeine Intake Stop caffeine consumption by noon or earlier. Caffeine consumption can affect your sleep if consumed within 7 hours of bedtime. Limit the amount of caffeine you consume in the morning. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine and may suffer insomnia due to this sensitivity.

Exercise During The Day Don’t exercise in the evening close to bedtime. Exercise close to bedtime can prevent your body from relaxing into a restful sleep. Do exercise during the day to help you fall asleep more easily at night.

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