We are now seeing face to face client again using masks and gloves to protect clients from Covid while visiting our clinics. We also offer video call sessions.
Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012

Improve your sleep hygiene to improve your sleep

By Private Therapy Clinic

By Rhianna Jones – Private Therapy Clinic Psychology Writer

What is insomnia?

Improve your sleep hygiene to improve your sleepWe have all experienced a bad night’s sleep, tossing and turning whilst the clock seems to tick increasingly loudly. When this becomes regular or the norm, however, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Not sleeping well causes fatigue during the day which is unpleasant and means that you can’t perform to the best of your ability. It can also drastically affect your mood. Equally, problems with mood or anxious thoughts can actually trigger the insomnia. Either way, there is evidence that improving your sleep hygiene can be the key to improving your sleep.

How can sleep hygiene help?

When we think of hygiene, we’re normally thinking about taking regular showers and brushing your teeth. But good hygiene can refer to anything that helps towards having a healthy life. In terms of sleep, that means having good quality, regular sleep that keeps you from being fatigued during the day.  Employing these simple measures has been shown to improve symptoms for a wide range of people, without having to resort to powerful drugs.  It might be worth a shot.

Ways to improve your sleep hygiene:

  1. Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed. This way you will begin to associate the sequence of activities with sleeping. It can include anything which works to make you sleepy. Or, even a thorough skin routine, of cleansing, toning and moisturising, followed by brushing your teeth can be enough to make the association.
  2. Keep a regular schedule.  Along with keeping rituals, make sure that you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Altogether this helps to maintain your inner body clock. If your body expects to sleep at 10.30, it will sleep at 10.30.
  3. Avoid taking naps if you can. This will just confuse the body clock that you’ve been working so hard to perfect!
  4. Make time to wind down before bedtime. It would be a feat for anyone to fall asleep when they’re not tired. If it’s you’re scheduled bedtime and you are not yet sleepy, try to do something relaxing, but not stimulating, to take your mind off worries about sleep, such as listening to soft music, or browsing a magazine. This will relax your body and distract your mind.  If possible, try to do this in another room so that your bedroom becomes the place that you go to sleep, rather than the place where you worry about not sleeping.
  5. Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little bit cool. Our ancestors must have got it right, because it’s the kind of environment you’d find in a cave!
  6. Avoid drugs. That means avoid caffeine or alcohol after lunch, and nicotine right before bed. They all work to keep you awake. Most importantly try to avoid sleeping pills where possible. Doctors don’t like to prescribe them for long, and for good reason. They are highly addictive, and you’ll be hugely tired in the morning. Sleeping pills are a last resort for severe insomnia.
  7. Leave you worries at the door. A common reason why many people struggle to get to sleep is because they are kept up all night worrying. You might think that this is easier said than done, but a good way to forget your worries is to write them all down. Tell yourself you will think about them in the morning when they can actually be dealt with. You won’t be concerned about forgetting what you need to get done, and hopefully by morning it won’t seem so bad.

Is your insomnia becoming unmanageable?
Do you feel like you need a little more assistance with improving your sleep hygiene, or have you improved your sleep hygiene and found minimal results?
Call our team on 020 8150 7563 or 075 1111 6565 for a free 15 minute confidential chat or to arrange an appointment with an expert who will be able to help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check out other related articles

  • 17 Jan 2020

    6 Types of Sleep Disorder and What They Mean

    Put simply, a sleep disorder is any form of dysfunctional sleep pattern that has a negative impact on your day to day life. They're far more numerous than you might imagine. In fact, they are around 96 recorded sleep disorders that have been classified. However, we're only going to deal with the mos.....

  • 02 Dec 2018

    Fear of dying while falling asleep - 1st session at Private Therapy Clinic

    In this video Poppy talks about her first session with Dr Daniela Rossi at Private Therapy Clinic. Poppy has come to therapy to treat her anxiety disorder which leave her fearful of dying while falling asleep. Poppy is offered CBT to help her overcome her fear. This video discusses what happens in P.....

  • 20 Feb 2019

    How I overcame my hypnophobia using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

    Here is the full video summarising all of Poppy’s sessions with Dr. Daniela Rossi. Poppy discusses how she overcame her anxiety disorder which involved being terrified she was going to die while falling in to sleep. Using strategies which helped Poppy challenge her thinking and change her behaviou.....

  • 29 Jan 2020

    Overcoming Your Chronic Fatigue: A CBT Approach

    If you’re struggling with chronic fatigue-like symptoms, you’ll know how hard it is to carry out your daily activities. It can feel like you’re constantly pushing against the tide. There’s nothing worse. It can be a confusing condition, as many believe chronic fatigue to be a symptom rather .....