Sleep hygiene can be the routines, habits and environmental factors that help or hinder a good night’s sleep.  People might need between 9-13 hours of sleep each night depending on their age and stage of development.  We are most aware of the impact sleep has on us when we do not get enough sleep.  Sleep helps with forming memories, merging information, restoring energy, behaviour regulation and energy and attention levels.

These are 10 tips that will help you to improve your sleep hygiene:

  1. Establish a sleep routine with a set bed time and wake up tie allowing for adequate sleep through the night.
  2. Get enough early morning sunshine. Exposure to light during early waking hours helps to set your body clock.
  3. Ensure the room is dark enough and set to a good temperature.
  4. Minimize noise were possible. If you can’t control noise (such as barking dogs or loud neighbours), you may benefit from a pair of earplugs.
  5. Try and use the bed only for sleep and intimacy. If possible avoid playing games, doing homework, watching TV or viewing the tablet or phone in bed.  This is because the brain may link the bed with activity not sleep.
  6. Avoid screen time where possible.
  7. Avoid sugar, caffeine (like tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) and lots of activity before bed. As these can disturb the sleep pattern and your body’s ability to fall asleep.
  8. Instead, try a warm, milky drink, since milk contains a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
  9. If you can’t fall asleep within a reasonable amount of time. Try to get out of bed and do something quiet for half an hour or so, such as reading a book or colouring in.
  10. If you worry about sleep, try schedule in a half hour of ‘worry time’ well before bed. Once you are ready for bed, remind yourself that you’ve already done your worrying for the day.

If you are suffering from sleep loss or feel your day to day activities are being effected due to your routine, please contact us and we would be happy to get an assessment done and give suggestions to improve your lifestyle.

Information compiled by TAG Occupational Therapists and sourced from: