A good night’s sleep—this has become more of a dream than a reality for many people in this day and age. The importance of adequate sleep—now matter how impossible it may seem—can never be underestimated, especially for people who are under a home health care program.
How many times have you heard or read about the old proverb that says hitting the sack early makes a person healthy? True enough, at least 7 hours of sleep everyday offers numerous health benefits. But if a patient is suffering from insomnia, some lifestyle changes are needed to improve poor sleep habits before the condition turns into a nightmare.
Read on the following essentials of a good sleep hygiene, which involves changing personal habits and sleeping environment to avoid poor sleep.
- Set a time for sleeping and waking. This will make the body get used to falling asleep at certain times.
- Refrain from consuming caffeinated or alcoholic drinks and spicy or sweet foods about four to six hours before bed. Coffee, sodas, teas, and other beverages with caffeine are stimulants, meaning they make you stay awake for hours. Alcohol also has a stimulating effect, though it temporarily induces sleep immediately after consumption. Likewise, sweets and foods that are spicy can also prevent the patient from falling asleep.
- Avoid taking a nap throughout daytime. It’s common sense—if taking a long sleep during the day will make it difficult to doze off at night. However, there’s no harm in taking an afternoon napas long as it doesn’t go beyond 45 minutes.
- Have regular workouts, but avoid any physically strenuous activities before bedtime. Regular exercises will give a good night’s sleep, especially when done in the afternoon. On the other hand, physically challenging activities within two hours before bedtime will make falling asleep harder.
- Avoid watching TV a few hours before sleep. A common misconception is that watching TV helps people fall asleep. In fact, sleep experts advice against placing TV sets in the bedroom. TV is an engaging medium that keeps viewers stay late at night. A better idea would be to listen to relaxing music being played by the radio (which is a less engaging medium). This setup will make it easier for the patient to doze off and can even make his or her sleep more comfortable.
- Make the bedroom sleep-friendly and comfortable. Change the beddings and mattresses, if necessary. Make sure that the room is well ventilated (meaning it’s neither too hot nor too cold) stop promote healthier sleep. Dim lights can also help achieve a better sleep. The bed should not be used as an extended workspace or study area—it should be used only for sleep. That way, the body will automatically associate the bed with sleeping.