Few things have as large of an effect on our health as sleep. Most people need at least eight hours of sleep, but unfortunately, Americans average six hours a night and people in pain average less. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased rates of:
- Other health-related disorders
Changing sleep habits takes work, but is important for your health and your recovery. The following sleep hygiene program comes from the best sleep centers in the world.
Your Sleep Hygiene Program
- Set a time to go to bed
- Quiet the house by turning off the computer, TV, and your phone one hour before you plan to go to sleep
- Reduce fluid intake in the evening
- Reduce alcoholic beverages in the late evening
- Darken and cool the bedroom
- Remove kids and pets from your bed
- Eliminate daytime naps; if naps are needed, limit them to power naps of less than 20 minutes
- Exercise during the day
- Park your ideas; place a notepad and pen next to your bed
- Relax, meditate or read a book before bed
- Avoid checking emails or messages before bed
- Stay in bed… if you cannot sleep, close your eyes and relax
- Set a wake time, and stay in bed until then
- Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon or evenings
- As with exercise, start easy and build slowly. For example, look at the list and pick the easiest one you can do tonight. Tomorrow night, repeat that task and add another. Every few days, add another one.
- If you’re the classic person struggling to sleep at night and typically fall asleep at 3am in front of the TV, it may be hard to start going to bed at 10pm. So, every day, go to bed 15 minutes earlier, until you reach the desired goal. These small steps are not as hard on your system.
This information is published with permission from Adriaan Louw and Evidence in Motion.
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