It’s Sleep Awareness Week…

Healthy Sleep Tips

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good “sleep hygiene.”

Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis:

  • Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
  • A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  • Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.
  • Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
  • Exercise daily.Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  • Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. It is good to finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading.
  • For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.
  • If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.

For more sleep tips and information, visit www.sleepfoundation.org or to make an appointment to see your doctor at the Engemann Student Health Center, call (213) 740-9355.

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