Following the guidelines of Sleep Hygiene can help to prevent poor quality nocturnal sleep, short duration of sleep, fragmentation of sleep and serious sleep deprivation in adults and children.
10 Principles for Healthier Sleep in Adults
- Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
- If you are in the habit of taking siestas, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
- Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
- Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
- Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
- Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
- Use comfortable bedding.
- Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
- Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
- Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don't use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.
10 Principles for Healthier Sleep in Kids
(Aged Birth-12 Years)
- Have your child go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 9:00PM.
- Your child should have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
- Establish a consistent, positive bedtime routine (this can include brushing teeth, songs, bedtime stories).
- The bedroom should be sleep friendly– cool, dark, and quiet.
- Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
- Your child should avoid bright light at bedtime and during the night, and increase light exposure in the morning.
- Have your child avoid heavy meals and vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
- Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the child’s bedroom and limit the use of electronics before bedtime.
- Your child should avoid caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and teas (as well as iced tea), and chocolate.
- Have your child keep a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.
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