Sleep hygiene is a term used to describe a set of guidelines that promote good sleep. Broadly speaking, these guidelines touch on sleep-related behaviours (e.g., pre-sleep activities, regularity of sleep schedule), environmental factors (e.g., bedroom temperature, noise levels), and general health practices (e.g., caffeine, alcohol use).
Research has shown that good sleep hygiene is associated with better sleep quality. This means that when these guidelines are followed, people feel more positive about their sleep. It is important to note, however, that this does not necessarily hold true for people with chronic insomnia. Chronic insomnia responds best to its own set of guidelines and principles, referred to as cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia. Nevertheless, whether you usually sleep quite well, have situational sleep problems, or struggle with chronic insomnia, ensuring that your sleep hygiene is as healthy as possible is one of the first steps toward better sleep.
If you received a “Can be improved” notification for sleep hygiene, do not be alarmed. In today’s society—with our abundance of technology, stress, social media, and so on—it’s quite easy to engage in behaviours that do not promote good sleep. For instance, do you scroll on your phone in bed? How about tossing and turning in bed, thinking or worrying about all the things you have to do tomorrow? Do you need that late afternoon coffee to get you through your day? Not all poor sleep hygiene is a function of today’s society though. Many factors that interfere with good sleep are simply behaviours that have become habit. And in some cases, we are simply unaware of how those behaviours may negatively impact our sleep.
HALEO can work with you to optimize your sleep hygiene. Our registered therapists have specific training and expertise in treating insomnia, including helping people make behavioural changes to improve sleep quality. You may also be introduced to other strategies, depending on your sleep health and sleep improvement goals.
If you are ready to improve your sleep, let us show you how we can help. Book an appointment today to speak with one of our Clinic Coordinators, or download the HALEO app to connect with us by chat.