If you find that you have excessive daytime sleepiness, changing your sleeping habits and sleep environment can reduce underlying factors that lead to lack of sleep. Use these helpful tips to achieve consistent, healthy sleep that will improve your overall quality of life.
- Try to go to sleep at the same time every night – Help set your body’s internal clock by and align your circadian rhythm functions with sunrise and sunset by staying consistent with your sleep times to support long-term sleep quality.
- Reduce blue light exposure before bedtime – Blue light exposure tricks your body into thinking its daytime and decreases melatonin production that helps your body relax and fall asleep. Try turning the TV off two hours before bedtime or wear glasses that block blue light if you need to use your laptop or computer late in the evening.
- Increase your exposure to natural sunlight – Help sync your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle to improve nighttime sleep quality by getting at least two hours of bright light exposure during the day.
- Healthy Tips: Try taking breaks from work outside in the sunshine, eat your lunch outside or by a sunny window, try walking your dog in the morning rather than the evening, exercise outside or go for a walk around the block every time you get your mail.
- Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon or evening – Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and can stay elevated in your blood for 6-8 hours. Avoid drinking coffee past 3-4 p.m. to help your body naturally relax at night.
- Improve your sleep environment – Minimize exposure to external noise such as traffic or neighbors by getting a sound machine or wearing ear plugs to bed. Try to reduce artificial lights in the bedroom and keep the temperature around a comfortable 70°F to avoid getting too hot or cold while sleeping.
- Healthy Tips: Sleep experts suggest upgrading your bedding – including a new mattress – every 5-8 years. A new mattress will reduce joint and back pain that interferes will healthy sleep.
The Sleep Wellness Center at Island Hospital is devoted to helping adult and pediatric patients achieve the sleep they need to improve their lives and health. For more information, call (360) 299-8676.