What information about good sleep hygiene is included in patient education about sleep dysfunction?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019
  • Author: Gila Hertz, PhD, ABSM; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Physicians should educate women about habits and behaviors that help promote good sleep. These behaviors help most women sleep better, regardless of the type of sleep problem. The following sleep hygiene instructions should be emphasized:

  • Get up about the same time every day

  • Go to bed only when sleepy

  • Establish a relaxing presleep routine, such as reading or listening to relaxing music

  • Avoid heavy meals or consuming caffeinated beverages within 5-6 hours before bedtime

  • Avoid smoking close to bedtime; avoid sleeping pills for periods longer than few weeks; be careful not to drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills

  • Maintain a regular daily schedule that includes exercise, downtime, and regular mealtimes; avoid strenuous exercises within 6 hours before bedtime

  • Older women should try to take a daily afternoon nap at a regular time to prevent early evening dozing

For patient education information, see the Mental Health Center, the Sleep Disorders Center, and the Women's Health Center, as well as Sleep Disorders in Women, Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias), Insomnia, Narcolepsy, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, andMenopause.

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