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Sleep Hygiene

Behavior

  • Have a regular schedule. Go to bed and wake-up at the same times, regardless of the day of the week.
  • Have a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Engage in a routine prior to sleep in order to prep the mind/body for sleep.
  • Ensure bedroom only used for sleep or intimacy. Only go to bed when drowsy. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed.
  • Limit the time you spend awake in bed. If you are awake in bed for 15-20 minutes, get up and leave bedroom. Engage in quiet activity until drowsy.
  • Avoid naps. Only nap if necessary to retain alertness (30 minutes maximum). Avoid napping 6-8 hours prior to sleep.

Environment

  • Have a dark bedroom. Avoid bright lights, because bright lights can disrupt sleep.
  • Set cool temperature (or comfortable temperature). Uncomfortably warm bedrooms disrupt sleep.
  • Avoid/minimize loud noises. Use ear plugs or “white noise” machines to minimize loud noises.
  • Have a bedroom free of potential allergens. Allergens can disrupt sleep because of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing.

Diet

  • Avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before sleep. Chocolate, some teas, coffee contain caffeine. Reasonable daily amount of caffeine is 1-2 cups of coffee.
  • Set cool temperature (or comfortable temperature). Uncomfortably warm bedrooms disrupt sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol 3-5 hours before sleep. Alcohol may helps sleep onset, but sleep will be fragmented and poor quality.
  • Eat a light carbohydrate snack prior to sleep. Hunger can disrupt sleep. Avoid large meals prior to sleep. Avoid sugars and caffeine.

Exercise

  • Exercise regularly. Regular exercise promotes a regular sleep/wake schedule. The body likes a routine.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise 3-5 hours before sleep. Exercise raises body temperature; During sleep body temperature lowers, and increased body temperature confuses the mind/body of the regular sleep/wake schedule.

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Sleep CenterTel: (212) 614-8288

Address310 E. 14th Street
North Building, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10003

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