Sleep habits have a lot to do with how well you sleep. At CPAP TotalCare, we believe sleep is the foundation of health. Not getting enough sleep can effect all areas of your life, including: judgement, mood, memory, productivity, sex drive, weight gain, reflexes, and general outlook. Long-term sleep deprivation can increase your risk of many chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
(note: if you are a CPAP user, check out our Better Sleep for CPAP Users program)
We created this infographic to share 10 sleep habits that can be established in anyone’s life to get higher quality sleep. Some of the tips may surprise you. Leave a comment with your personal effective sleep habits below!
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Sleep Habits #1: Keep It Dark
Create a quiet, dark, comfortable sleeping environment. Cover windows with darkening drapes or shades (dark trash bags work too) or wear a sleep mask to block light. Minimize disturbance from environmental noises with foam earplugs or use a room fan to muffle noise. If you can, adjust the room temperature to suit you. If you can’t, use extra blankets to stay warm. Use that room fan both to muffle noise AND keep you cool.
Sleep Habits #2: Use The Bedroom Exclusively for Bedroom Activities
Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. Remove the TV, computer, laptop, etc. from your bedroom. Don’t eat or drink in bed. Keep discussions / arguments out of the bedroom.
Sleep Habits #3: Cut The Caffeine
Stop caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine promotes wakefulness and disrupts sleep.
Sleep Habits #4: Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Bed
Don’t drink alcohol before bed. Alcohol initially makes you feel sleepy, but disrupts and lightens your sleep several hours later. In short, alcohol reduces the recuperative value of sleep. Nicotine – and withdrawal from nicotine in the middle of the night – also disrupts sleep. If you need help quitting drinking or using nicotine products, see your healthcare provider for options.
Sleep Habits #5: Exercise Early
Get your exercise in by early evening. Exercising is great – just be sure to finish at least 3 hours before bedtime so that you have plenty of time to wind down.
Sleep Habits #6: No Empty Stomach
Don’t go to bed hungry. A light bedtime snack (e.g., milk and crackers) can be helpful, but do not eat a large meal close to bedtime. And empty your bladder just before you go to bed so that the urge to urinate doesn’t disrupt your sleep. The following sleep hygiene habits are especially critical for those experiencing sleep problems:
Sleep Habits #7: Maintain a Routine
Maintain a consistent, regular routine that starts with a fixed wake-up time. Start by setting a fixed time to wake up, get out of bed, and get exposure to light each day. Pick a time that you can maintain during the week AND on weekends. Then adjust your bedtime so that you target 7—8 hours of sleep.
Sleep Habits #8: Get Up if You Can’t Sleep
Get out of bed if you can’t sleep. Only go to bed (and stay in bed) when you feel sleepy. Do not try to force yourself to fall asleep – it will tend to make you more awake, making the problem worse. If you wake up in the middle of the night, give yourself about 20 minutes to return to sleep. If you do not return to sleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing. Do not return to bed until you feel sleepy.
Sleep Habits #9: Nap Wisely
Nap wisely but sparingly. Napping can be a good way to make up for poor/reduced nighttime sleep, but naps can cause problems falling asleep or staying asleep at night – especially if those naps are longer than 1 hour and/or if they are taken late in the day (after 1500 hours)If you need to nap for safety reasons (e.g., driving), try to take a short (30-60 minute) nap in the late morning or early afternoon (e.g., right after lunch), just enough to take the edge off your sleepiness.
Sleep Habits #10: Hide The Clock
Move the bedroom clock to where you cannot see it. If you tend to check the clock two or more times during the night, and if you worry that you are not getting enough sleep, cover the clock face or turn it around so that you can’t see it (or remove the clock from the bedroom entirely).
Now it’s your turn.
Now that you’ve read about these 10 sleep habits, it’s time to take action.
Your next step is to answer the following question:
Which of these 10 sleep habits are you going to work on first?
Or, maybe you have some tips and habits that work for you that you want to share.
Either way, let us know by leaving a quick comment right now.