Does Your Sleep Hygiene Stink?

Why is it important to practice good sleep hygiene?

We already know: Sleep is Medicine. Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both physical and mental health. It can also improve productivity and overall quality of life. Everyone, from children to older adults, can benefit from practicing good sleep habits. 

How can I improve my sleep hygiene? 

One of the most important sleep hygiene practices is to spend an appropriate amount of time asleep in bed, not too little or too excessive. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. However, there are recommendations that can provide guidance on how much sleep you need generally. [1]

Like we read in this New York Times article, “Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body,” Dr. Walker of U.C. Berkeley said. “We have a saying in medicine: What gets measured, gets managed."

Follow Dr. Rob's Top 10 Nighttime Routines, as seen on Whil:

  1. Create a routine: Set a regular time to go to bed and get up, and stick to it! Stay on schedule even on weekends.

  2. Associate your bed with sleep and sex only—your bed is not for catching up on work.

  3. Clear your mind of intrusive thoughts (the monkey mind) by using meditationguided imagery and deep breathing techniques.

  4. Don’t lie awake! After 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing until you start to feel sleepy and then go back to bed.

  5. Put your phone down: Blue light reduces melatonin production, so limit the use of devices with LED backlit screen or dim them. Avoid looking at bright screens 2-3 hours before bedtime.

  6. Keep it cool! Maintain a temperature between 65-68 degrees in your bedroom.

  7. Go nuts: Walnuts and almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, so they are the “dream” sleep-inducing snack.

  8. Make a “dreamy” essential oil synergy and spray it in your bedroom and on your sheets.  My wife Julie’s favorites for sleep are lavender, roman chamomile and vetiver.

  9. Sip on some relaxing herbal teas, like chamomile and hibiscus.

  10. Count your blessings instead of sheep. Grateful thoughts can help you get a great night’s sleep. Try gratitude journaling prior to bed and you just may rest easier.

Your future depends on your dreams, so go to sleep!
— Mesut

There you have it. Eliminate excuses for poor sleep hygiene where you can. You need and deserve 8 hours of sleep - Doctor's orders! And before you hit the hay tonight (at least 2-3 hours before, that is), learn more from Dr. Graham's friend Dr. Narula, who shared "How Sleep Impacts Those With Metabolic Syndrome" on CBS this morning.