Get Your Best Sleep With Good Sleep Hygiene[/caption]
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Getting Your Day Started Right With A Good Nights Sleep. Wake Up Refreshed!
Dr. Bernard Kim here from Pondworks and I want to help you get the day started. Today we will talk about napping and how to get to sleep faster.
It started a little bit rainy outside here in Austin and a great day to talk about psychiatry.
And what better topics to talk about on a rainy day than sleep. We all would like to stay under our sheets and sleep a little longer, but I have to be a wet blanket in the quest for good sleep hygiene.
A Regular Sleep Schedule WIll Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The first building block to great sleep is setting your anchor point.
We all do better if we set a consistent and regular wake up time. You can choose whatever time that might work best for you. Typically, when I’m helping someone establish sleep habits, the time to wake up in the morning is not anything extreme. It’s not an outlandishly early time, nor is it noon or 2 p.m. It is somewhere in the range of a reasonable wake-up time of 7 to 9 a.m.
Once you have established a healthy time to wake up, you must stick with it. If you stick with that time, you’ve done a vital step towards improving your sleep hygiene. I’m going to call that your anchor point, and it’s an important concept to grab on your way to sleep mastery.
How Naps Can Harm Your Sleep, and Why You Shouldn’t Take Them.
The Second building block, which is essential, is no naps.
There is an essential part of sleep hygiene or CBTI (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), which is called sleep debt. And sleep debt, as the name suggests, can grow. It is one of the fundamental principles of sleep hygiene.
If you have a terrible night of sleep, your sleep debt grows. If you don’t take a nap, your sleep debt stays in place. It is a little counter-intuitive, and by the time you go to bed, sleep debt will make it easier to fall asleep.
When you have a certain amount of sleep debt and take a nap, that debt goes away.
Sleep Debt and How To Get Rid Of It.
We call it delayed falling asleep time. That time diminishes, the more your sleep debt goes up. When you decrease that sleep debt by taking a nap, the potential to lie in bed at night, thinking anxious thoughts that are making it harder to go to sleep grows. That makes it harder to fall asleep, contributing to your delayed sleeping time.
Now That You Have Your Perfect Sleep System, You Don’t Have To Be Perfect.
Once you have an anchor point for waking up, and you’re also not taking naps, there’s an additional critical piece to this equation.
If you have set your morning anchor point, it’s important also to remember this. If you’re doing your best, remind yourself that good sleep hygiene is not about being perfect on any given day. It’s about forming an ideal sleep schedule that you’re working for.
The One Thing To Remember For A Quality Nights Sleep
So the tip for this rainy day in Austin, Texas, when we all would like to stay in bed, is to create an anchor point for when you wake up. And if you do not have to work on the weekends, you can some extra sleep. It would be acceptable to sleep in for an hour or an hour and a half. I think that’s fine in terms of getting them sleep structures started. But get that Anchor Point in the morning somewhere between 7 AM and 9 AM. Or if you like, earlier is better. I love waking up earlier. Also, keep in mind to do your best not to take any naps. Taking naps will contribute to not sleeping, as it gets rid of your sleep debt. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.
We’ll explore how to get quality sleep further in another blog post that will come later. Take care and if you’re in the Austin area, enjoy the rainy day!