Sleep Hygiene Sheet
Step #1: Avoid Potential Stimulants
- Avoid all caffeine containing drinks or foods (i.e. chocolate) for at least 6 hours before going to bed
- Avoid alcohol for at least 4 hours before going to bed (alcohol may help
- Avoid decongestant cold medicines at night
- Avoid large meals or spicy foods for at least 3 hours before bedtime
- Avoid nicotine completely, or at least before going to bedStep #2: Avoid Potential Nighttime Tension & Anxiety
- Avoid reading or watching the news before going to bed
- Avoid paying bills, checking financial reports etc. before going to bed
- Avoid arguments before going to bedStep #3: Plan Your Sleep
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day in order to train your biological clock
- If you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, get up and do something quiet and non-stimulating. When tired, try going back to bed again.
- Don’t “force your self” to fall asleep, the anxiety is counter-productive!
- Avoid afternoon napsStep #4: Take away Potential Distractions
- Try using earplugs and eyeshades to block out all noise and light
- Move the alarm clock away from the bed (It can be a distraction!)
- Do not watch TV, read or write in bed. Let your mind and body identify bed with sleeping. (Okay, only one other activity in bed is allowed!!)Step #5: Get yourself Physically Tired…Not Just Mentally Tired!
- Regular exercise (aerobic, walking, weight training, cycling, Yoga, Tai Chi, swimming, etc…in fact anything!) any time in the day may help deepen sleep. (Suggestion is at least 45 minutes 3-5X/week)Step #6: Relax & Breathe
- Listen to a relaxation CD that teaches progressive physical and mental relaxation along with deep focused diaphragmatic breathing.
Posted on: October 08, 2010
Categories: Relevant Physical Therapy Articles