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Sleep Hygiene Recommendations
Part II of the CPANCF.COM A Basic Guide to Understanding Insomnia Series                                 
Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida
2121 NW 40th Terr. Suite B
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 336-2888                                                                       CPANCF.COM
Insomnia is quite common in our modern society.  Causes may be due to stress, psychiatric disorder, medications, alcohol, medical disorders, or poor sleep habits.  Practicing good sleep hygiene often helps many people.  Monitoring your sleep by keeping a log of exercise, night-time activity, medications, foods and beverages can help provide some clues.  See the end of this article for additional articles in this series about managing your sleep.
Should the following suggestions not help, consult your physician or your psychologist for additional tips and possible assessment for causes that may contribute to your sleep disorder.
Several terms which you should be familiar with:
  • Hypersomnia: Definition - excessive sleeping
  • Insomnia: Definition – often used as a generic term referring to difficulties or inability to sleep.
  • Initial Insomnia: Definition – Trouble with sleep onset such as difficulty getting asleep.
  • Middle Insomnia:  Definition – Often refers to interrupted sleep.  This may involve multiple interruptions (sometimes caused by nocturia – an excessive need to urinate at night), or waking up and not being able to return to sleep (can be caused by alcohol, medication or other factors).
  • Narcolepsy: Definition – A medical condition causing sudden sleep during normal wake cycles.
  • Parasomnia: Definition – a general term used to refer to a variety of sleep disorders.
  • Sleep Apnea:  Definition – A medical condition causing decreased oxygen saturation – often marked by snoring.
  • Somnambulisim: Definition – Sleep walking.
  • Terminal Insomnia: Definition – Waking up too early at the end of sleep.

Click here for Part V: Classification of Sleep Disorders

General Sleep Hygiene Recommendations and Tips
  • Avoid stimulants:
  • No caffeine 4-6 hrs before bedtime
  • No nicotine around bedtime or during nighttime awakenings
  • Log medication use and time to get to sleep
  • No alcohol
  • A light snack but no heavy meal or food around bedtime.
  • Exercise:  Regular aerobic exercise in late afternoon or early evening, but no vigorous exercise 3-4 hours before bedtime
  • Minimize noise, light, and excessive temperature during sleep time
  • Restrict amount of time in bed to sleep time
  • Go to bed only when sleepy
  • Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep or return to sleep within 10-20  minutes
  • Repeat as often as necessary during night
  • Maintain regular waking time and stick to it
  • No naps during day
  • No T.V., radio, reading, eating, working, etc in bed
  • Stick to medication and doses as prescribed by _____________________, M.D.
  • Continue completion of Self-Monitoring forms
Sample Sleep Hygiene Log Forms:
The Hopkins Sleep Wake Diary is a basic sleep log form.
Sleep Diary from the Sleep Foundation
Additional Articles in this Series:
Part V: Classification of Sleep Disorders
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