If you haven’t done so already, I invite you to read the other post on sleep hygiene. In that post, I discuss more in detail how narcolepsy and bipolar can prohibit you from having a good sleep hygiene.
I have learned over the years that if I want good sleep, I must fight for. Achieving good sleep hygiene is when you have arrived at the pinnacle of sleep just like how a contestant on American Idol feels about advancing each week. You are getting just the right amount of sleep. Not too much. Not too little. No more fuzzy brain. No more hitting snooze 10 times in the morning. No more naps in the car at work. No more falling asleep at the laptop.
Five tips for good sleep hygiene
Here are five tips to help you in making good sleep hygiene your goal and accomplishing it.
- In order to have any hope of having a good sleep hygiene, is to basically enact a schedule for when you go to bed and when you get up in the morning. Be sure your alarm is set before you go to bed.
2. Most experts would say get between seven and eight hours of sleep. If you have a mental illness, it is more than that roughly eight to nine. Hang in here with me and follow along. Pretend you are in 6th grade science again You and your classmates are to do an experiment to discover the total amount of sleep you need for a good night’s rest. Use the sleep hygiene schedule located at the bottom of this blog post. It is amazing how crucial it is for us to maintain the proper number of sleep hours.
3. No more snooze. One of the many symptoms of me stepping away from managing a good sleep hygiene, is when I start slapping the alarm clock’s snooze button. When I have a “just right” sleep hygiene, I will awaken in the morning rested and refreshed. And that is even without five to ten snoozes.
4. Stay awake during the day. Before I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, I fell asleep at whatever chance I could get. Doctor’s office; examining room; touch-less car wash; faculty meeting; watching a movie when I was on a date or long phone conversations. Once I disciplined myself to have a good sleep hygiene schedule, I could make it through without sleeping during the hour-long wait for the doctor.
5. When it is difficult to go to sleep, it makes keeping up with your good sleep hygiene nearly impossible. I will get manic and either stay up late at night watch movies or write. Or I will get up way-too-early in the morning and write and spend some quiet time with my fur babies. Then I drag all day. Staying up late and getting up early will only make you tired the next day and more apt to fall asleep. When this begins to happen to me, I review my sleep hygiene plan. There may be some tweaks that need to be taken care of. I also concentrate on the benefits of having good hygiene.
up all night (writing), sleep all day
Notice how you can be awake if you want/need to? Your good sleep hygiene is in your hands. You will have numerous benefits, such as: a better mood; more focus; more time to enjoy the day with friends and family and fewer citations from the friendly neighborhood police officer.
Call to action
Do you have problems with your sleep hygiene? Need a sleep hygiene schedule? See the chart at the end of this post for a sample sleep hygiene schedule. Send me an email with your analysis of the chart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sleep Hygiene Schedule
|Day||Date||Time went to bed||Time awoke from bed||Notes on how you feel at bedtime|