Sleep Hygiene - Bangkok Prep

Sleep Hygiene

People are turning to sleep medications in higher and younger numbers. There is evidence that sleeping pills are physically addictive, induce rebound insomnia (stopping them is worse than the original issue) and may not be as restorative for the immune system as natural sleep. There are cognitive and behavioural solutions that are effective in tackling insomnia. For those of us who find it hard to go, maintain and stay asleep there are many behaviours that can assist-we call these Sleep Hygiene.

                         Sleep Hygiene or good habits to help us sleep…

  • Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed (Don’t stay up later at weekends!) Set an alarm for bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate, so be careful
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed heavy use robs you of REM sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep
  • Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. These can affect your ability to stay asleep. As too much fluid can cause awakenings to urinate.
  • Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.
  • Avoid taking naps after 3pm. Late afternoon naps make it harder to fall asleep at night.
  • Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep
  • Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible. Reserve the bed for sleep. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room. Let your body “know” that the bed is associated with sleeping.
  • Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as bananas, may help you to sleep
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques such as deep muscle relaxation, deep breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension
  • Dark bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom turn the clock face away and don’t look at it during the night
  • Have the right sunlight exposure Try and get outside in natural sunlight for at least thirty minutes each day
  • Don’t take your worries to bed. Leave your worries about school, daily life, etc., behind when you go to bed. Some people find it useful to assign a “worry period” during the evening or late afternoon to deal with these issues
  • Establish a pre-sleep ritual. Pre-sleep rituals, such as a warm bath or a few minutes of reading, can help you sleep
  • Get into your favourite sleeping position. If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30 minutes, get up, go into another room, and read or do something relaxing until sleepy.

To be healthy and reach their potential teenagers need 9 to 9 1/2 hours every night. Anyone struggling to get this amount can speak to their tutor or see the School Counsellor.

Mental disease illustration. Girl with sleep disorder problems and insomnia. Mental health weather concept. Vector illustration, cartoon flat style.

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