Sleep Hygiene: What is it and Why is it Important?

By Kaylen Hagadorn, LCSW

When people are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it can affect many aspects of their life, including their mood. Often times people talk about “sleep hygiene” and how we need to improve it, but what does sleep hygiene actually mean? Rather than cleanliness, like hygiene usually suggests, sleep hygiene refers to good habits and practices relating to sleep.

How can you practice good sleep hygiene and improve the quality of your sleep?

  • Limit naps during the day. If you must nap, keep it to 30 minutes or less

  • Avoid caffeine late in the day.

  • Consider limiting alcohol consumption. Although alcohol makes us fall asleep faster, it can lead to less restful sleep as our bodies process the alcohol through the night.

  • Establish a regular bedtime routine. This could be taking a hot shower, having a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night. This may not always be achievable, but try your best.

  • Stay out of bed unless it’s for sleep or sex. This can be challenging in New York when many people live in small apartments or with roommates, but train yourself to think of your bed only as somewhere for sleeping.

  • No screens in bed.

These steps might seem obvious, but committing to them can really make a difference in the quality of sleep we experience.

Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html

Kaylen Hagadorn is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy. If you would like support in prioritizing and taking care of your mental health, contact Cobb Psychotherapy and see how therapy can help.