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

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