• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Do you practice good sleep hygiene?

February 26, 2018

Sleep. Your body needs it every day. Too little sleep may affect your body's immune system. Too much sleep may result in poor quality of sleep. But what about sleep hygiene? Dr. Lois Krahn is a Mayo Clinic sleep medicine specialist. She says it starts with developing good habits.

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After your nightly rituals of washing your face, brushing your teeth, you head to bed. Healthy habits indeed.

But do you also practice good sleep hygiene? "Sleep hygiene – it’s really talking about sleep lifestyle," explains Dr. Krahn. "What lifestyle choices can a person make that their sleep is as good as it could be?"

Dr. Krahn says you can improve your sleep hygiene by avoiding caffeine and heavy meals before bed. She says to try to go to sleep about the same time every night, so your body gets used to a routine.

Finally, minimize your exposure to light before bed. That includes the glow coming off your favorite technology. Turn off media 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and skip the social media update when you settle in.

Then, make your room as dark and quiet as possible to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Dr. Krahn says of sleep hygiene, "It’s an odd term, but it really is just meant to talk about what a person can control that improves the quality of their sleep."

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