Sleep Hygiene Tips and Tricks

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I recognize this has little to do with SEO, but it is a pretty important issue to proper functioning. I copy and paste this list for people dealing with sleep issues so often, I figured I should just post it that way I can more easily provide a list.

The Rules

  • No naps.
  • No alcohol, especially after 6PM.
  • No caffeine, especially after 3PM
  • Exercise. You actually have to be tired to sleep.
  • Try and go to sleep around the same time every night.
  • Wake up at the same time every day.
  • No screens for 30-60 min before bed.
  • Prepare yourself (brush teeth, get into comfy clothes, etc.) and then settle into something relaxing like meditating or sitting calmly listening to light music with lowered lights for the 15 min prior to bed. DO NOT DO THIS IN THE BED. BED IS FOR SLEEPING AND SEX, nothing else.
  • If white noise helps (ie: there are distracting noises around), turn it on.
  • Lay down to sleep in the complete dark (get a eye mask if you need).
  • If you toss and turn 3-4 times (about 45 minutes), get up, go to another room that has lowered lights and read or listen to soft music again for 30-60min. If you feel drowsy, go ahead and return to the bed. If not, don’t return till the end of the 60min.
  • Lay down to sleep and repeat this process over and over again.
  • You may not get any sleep the first night. Eventually, though, your body will pick up on the routine.

Other options:

  • Use melatonin or benadryl as a supplement to help you fall asleep. Both are **non habit forming**. So don’t worry about using it now. Over time, you can probably taper off if you have set aside good sleep hygiene.
  • Look at your current med regimen from your doctor. Do any induce drowsiness? Try changing the time of day that you take your meds with that side effect so that they peak at bed time.
  • Create a game in your head that you follow (rather than letting your uncontrolled thoughts win). One example I read that seemed pretty cool was to imagine an incredibly long hallway with thousands of regal doors. Behind each door is some scene. Imagine yourself walking down the hall and opening a door and seeing one of these scenes. What is it? What does it look like? Smell like? Sound like? Close the door and continue down the hall.
  • If you roll over a lot like me, or have legs that move a lot when you are nervous, you might want to try a weighted blanket. It is important to get a weight appropriate to your height/weight so it does the trick. I have to double mine over, but it is very comforting (like being hugged all night)

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