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Healthy Habits: Sleep Hygiene

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By: Stephanie Pasquarelli, MSW, LCSW

Sleep is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep not only recharges our bodies but also helps us to maintain physical and mental health. While most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, a study from the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that 1/3 of adults are not getting enough sleep. Given this statistic, it is important to consider that our sleep can benefit from hygiene.

What is sleep hygiene? Sleep hygiene describes a practice of good sleep habits that help to improve sleep.


Below are a few quick tips to help you catch some Z’s.

1. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed.

2. Take a hot shower or bath 1 to 2 hours before bed. This will raise your body temperature, and as your body temperature begins to drop you will start to feel sleepy.

3. Start to dim the lights 1 to 1.5 hours before bed.

4. Establish a bedtime routine. Bedtime routines can cue your body that it is time for sleep.

5. Try a free sleep meditation. BetterSleep is a free app that offers meditations, sleep stories, and other relaxation techniques.

6. Develop and maintain consistent sleep and wake times.

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