Often, patients that refer symptoms of insomnia or lack of repairing sleep, after an initial approach to their practice of sleep, is found what experts call a poor “sleep hygiene”. Most of the mismatches in the pattern of sleep are not pathological and are easily corrected by changing the night liturgy. Sleep better is often a healing miracle cure, but the missinformation about the mechanisms of sleep is often difficult to assume the correct meaning of what it means to sleep. Insomnia due to a lack of sleep hygiene is caused by bad practices that cause a loss of the necessary conditions for a restful sleep.
There is a protocol that sleep experts have designed unifying criteria which aim to improve the quality of sleep. The Decalogue of practice is what is known as “sleep hygiene”. This compendium of rules comes from both the medical experience and common sense and is intended to mitigate the effects of bad habits or customs in the dream that in some cases are the very cause of the disorders. Kleitman in 1939 introduced the term “sleep hygiene” in his book “Sleep and wakefullness”.
This meaning has been assigned to the medical literature to describe the catalog of rules aiming to get quality sleep. In this section we depelop a protocol of basic standards and compliance provides a daily whose optimal rest and relieve possible inconvenience of a restless sleep.
Despite the pervasiveness of the term in scientific circles, in any case these routines are alternative treatments or solutions to an already dianosed disease or disorders there are a friendly reccomendations to facilitate the process of being asleep optimally in most cases accomplished simply by changing certain habits. Poor hygiene sleep rotuines, is behind the vast majority of disorders of daytime sleepiness.
Sleep Hygiene, some tips
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule. Getting in and out always at the same time, maintaining this routine even on holidays and vacation.
- The place of sleep should be quiet, without noise and excessive light. The room should be well ventilated and a temperature. Both excessive heat and extreme cold can cause sleep disturbances.
- Use the bed only for sleeping. Not to read, watch television or work.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and tobacco. Try not to smole at least two hours before bedtime because nicotine as stimulant drug interferes with sleep. Avoid consumption of sleeping pills.
- Avoid naps and sleep during the day.
- Choose comfortable clothing that does not involve discomfort or inconvenience.
- Perform regular excercise in moderation and always at least three hours before goint to bed, never after dinner, excessive physical activity may hinder the onset of sleep. Also, limited physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle can cause insomnia.
- Shower with warm water between an hour and a half to two hours before bedtime it helps to relax, but never just before going to bed.
- Make something relaxing half hour before bedtime, like reading, listening to soft music or take a walk.
- Do not watch the clock or get obsessed with the time.
- Do not drink too much fluid before bedtime to avoid the problems associated with nocturia, as they will wake up during the night to urinate.
- If within 15-20 minutes you are unable to sleep, leave the bedroom and go to another room staying as relaxed as possible, so that drowsiness may return. Repeat this process as many times as it takes overnight.
- If your partner breaks their sleep with snoring or movements, it is recommended to sleep in separate beds or in different rooms.
- If you snore, avoid sleeping on your back, take a side position (you can put something in your back for not rolling over like a tennis ball).
From: Garcia Urbano, J.: Orthoapnea, Snoring and obstructive Apnea: Solutions to sleeping problems. Ripano, 2011.