Get a good night's sleep with this sleep hygiene checklist

Good sleep hygiene can help you get to bed and sleep better throughout the night. This go-to-sleep checklist can help you settle down for a great night's sleep.

Get a good night's sleep with this sleep hygiene checklist

Can't sleep? You're not alone. According to Statistics Canada, one in seven Canadians suffers from insomnia. But before you reach for a bottle of sleeping pills, you might want to ask yourself about your sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene can help you get to bed and sleep better throughout the night. This go-to-sleep checklist can help you settle down for a great night's sleep.

How's your hygiene?

"Sleep hygiene" is a term that refers to bedtime routines designed to give your body the signal that it's time to sleep. According to the Canadian Sleep Society, making sleep a priority and practicing good sleep hygiene can help individuals get to sleep faster and sleep throughout the night.

Before you follow the checklist below, check in with your own sleep hygiene. Do you follow a normal before-bed routine, or is your sleep schedule erratic? How much sleep do you typically need each night? How have your sleep patterns changed over your lifetime?

A good night's sleep

Now that you know more about your needs, it's time to incorporate go-to-sleep routines into your evening. Try this checklist to get to sleep tonight:

  • Set an intention: Make sleep a priority, and set your intention to get a great night's sleep.
  • Watch your caffeine intake: Try to reduce the amount of caffeine from tea, coffee and soft drinks you consume in the afternoon and evening.
  • Make bed a sacred space: Instead of working, talking, eating and watching television in bed, make your bedroom a sleepy sanctuary. Invest in relaxing lighting and a comfortable bed, turn off the TV and keep to your boundaries.
  • Set the scene: Lock your doors, close the windows, turn off the television and quiet any music or ambient noise. Make sure the temperature is comfortable — not too hot and not too cold.
  • Get into the groove: Every night at the same time, bathe, or simply wash your face and brush your teeth. Dim the lights and talk quietly. Consider creating a cue that tells your body it's time to sleep, such as blowing out a candle or rubbing relaxing lotion into your hands. Lay down and drift into sleep.
  • Ask for help: Still having difficulty sleeping? Your health could be to blame. Consult with your doctor for more information on sleep medication or health issues that are getting between you and a good night's rest.
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