Trouble Sleeping? - Try some Sleep Hygiene

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand with poor sleep and clients I see sometimes need help with their sleep as well as their anxiety or depression.

Sleep hygiene is an important part of treating sleep problems.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Now sleep hygiene has nothing to do with ensuring you shower regularly… but it’s really important if you want to improve your sleeping.

It’s basically a list of really simple things to make sure you do and don’t do in the run up to bed time.

But don’t be fooled, simple doesn’t mean they don’t work….

Here’s my top 10 do’s and don’ts

Why not try some and see if they help you sleep better?

1 Be regular– nothing to do with your bowels this one! Going to bed and getting up at the same time each day helps programme your body for better sleep

2 Make sure the bedroom is for sleep and s-e-x only – not checking social media (or playing a game on your tablet)

3 Take regular exercise– but no vigorous exercise just before bed

4 Try cutting down on caffeine to see if it makes a difference. Particularly in the evenings. Will help for some, not for others. I love a cuppa before bed and it doesn’t affect my sleep fortunately but it may not be the same for you.

5  Alcohol – be aware that whilst alcohol may help you fall to sleep as it’s processed by your body it can have the opposite effect leading to a wakeful night

Half way there - here's tips 6 - 10

6 Smoking – you know you ought to give it up anyway, right? Remember it’s a stimulant. So enjoying your smoking could mean you sleep less well.

7 Wind down and relax before bed time – but not using screen time, may be listen to music or have a warm bath or listen to a relaxation recording

8 Park worries for the night – try writing down any urgent todos and things to have to get down well before you go to bed, so you can put them out of your mind

9  If you wake up and can't get back to sleep GET UP! – counter intuitive maybe but don’t stay in bed more than about 10 minutes trying to get back to sleep. Get up do something until feel sleepy and go back

10 Try and stay awake – paradoxically telling yourself you must stay awake can help you do the opposite!