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Sleep hygiene doesn’t actually mean “sleeping cleanly.” Instead, it refers to certain practices that can help you enjoy the best possible night’s sleep. Sleeping well is important to keep you alert throughout the day, and to prevent possible health risks associated with lack of sleep. Good sleep also contributes to your overall mental and physical health, and is necessary for people of all ages.

Great sleep hygiene starts with great habits. Building these habits may be hard at first, but if you practice them consistently, you may notice a change in mood, energy, and overall well-being. To improve your sleep hygiene, give these habits a try.

Establish a consistent and relaxing nighttime routine.
Your body loves consistency, and if you start a routine, your body will want to follow it. Setting aside a certain time every night to start winding down will encourage your body to start relaxing for bedtime. This relaxation time can include stretching, reading, watching TV, taking a warm bath, or doing other peaceful activities. Once you are relaxed, have a specific time in place to go to sleep, and stick to it.

Avoid stimulating food, drinks, and consumables before bedtime.
Fatty, rich foods take a lot of energy to digest, and can sometimes cause indigestion. Spicy and fried foods can cause heartburn, which may in turn cause enough discomfort to disrupt sleep. Drinks that have caffeine can rile up your body instead of relaxing it. In the same way, nicotine tends to stimulate the mind and body, leading to restless, fitful sleep. Try to avoid ingesting these things before bed.

Limit your daytime naps.
Contrary to popular belief, napping during the day does not make up for a lack of sleep during the night. In truth, oversleeping during the day affects your ability to fall and stay asleep the following night. Instead, limit your naps to 20-30 minutes to boost productivity and improve your mood.

If you have questions about good sleep hygiene, or if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, the experts at Sleep Better Austin are here to help. Call our Austin , Texas, office at 512-215-4350 to schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Sleep Better Austin, the sleep dentists.