Sleep hygiene, is it important?
What is sleep hygiene? (1,2)
Sleep hygiene refers to the healthy routine sleep habit, that helps one to sleep throughout the night or get enough quality sleep. These habits are a cornerstone of cognitive behavioural therapy, the most effective long-term treatment for people with chronic insomnia.
There is certain habit that should be cultivated if you are experiencing poor sleeping habit before you opt to take medication or any remedies. You should consider practicing good sleeping hygiene such as go to bed at the same time every night and be consistent with it. Make sure the bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing and at a comfortable temperature. Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smartphone, from the bedroom. Avoid large heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime, regularly exercise during the day is able to make one fall asleep easily at night.
How can all these habits help in getting good quality sleep? (3)
The behaviour during the day and before bedtime have a major impact on sleep. Either it can promote healthy sleep or contribute to sleeplessness.
The daily routines include what we consume, the medication that we take, how we schedule our days and how do we spend our evening can significantly affect the quality of sleep. Sometimes, for a person who is experiencing trouble sleeping, it takes only slight adjustment in their daily routines, or in some cases they are require to write a two weeks diary to help them to understand their routines that affect their sleep quality.
Why is good quality sleep important? (3,4)
Insufficient sleep has major health consequences in adults, adolescents, and young children. Strong evidence exists that adult who have insufficient sleep has develop numerous health complications including incidence of chronic disease. Those who have short sleep duration, that is less than 7 hours per night and have poor sleep quality are associated with cardiovascular morbidity and metabolic disorders such as glucose intolerance, which also will lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Individuals who experience shorter sleep duration are at 1.48 times greater risk of developing and dying of coronary heart disease than those who have sufficient sleep and 1.15 times more likely to have a stroke.
Adults who sleep less than 7 hours per night also have greater difficulty in concentrating, remembering, and performing daily activities than those who sleep 7 to 9 hours per night.
When it comes to children, those who experiencing shorter sleep duration are more likely to become obese than those who do not. Insufficient sleep also affects immunologic function and development of mood disorders and is associated with depression; deficits in cognition, memory, and learning; and reduced quality of life.
One major consequence of insufficient sleep is daytime sleepiness, which reduces alertness and causes slow reaction time, leading to occupational and medical errors, workplace injuries, impaired driving, and motor vehicle accidents. In 2009, almost 5% of adults in 12 United States reported that during the previous 30 days they had nodded off or fallen asleep driving. In 2005, drowsy driving contributed to 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 15,000 deaths.
What need to be done? (4)
As medical practitioners be it doctors, nurses, pharmacist, nutritionist, etc one must consider the sleeping factor in advising for lifestyle modification. One must as well ensure that patient or customers is well informed regarding medication or supplement that they are taking which will induce symptoms that hinder them from sleeping such as tachycardia (irregular heart zate) etc thus they need to adjust the timing for medication consumption, sleeping time and daily activities. One must as well consider sleep factor in finding diagnosis or underlying cause for one’s health condition.
At this point, public as well must be reminded that sleep is a very essential factor in maintaining health especially for disease like hypertension. Thera are various factors that can hinder sleep or can cause trouble sleeping thus adjustment in the lifestyle sometimes need to be made for the improvement of life quality.
- Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tips for better sleep (2016). https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html (Accessed on September 4, 2020).
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Healthy Sleep Habits (2017). http://sleepeducation.org/essentials-in-sleep/healthy-sleep-habits (Accessed on September 4, 2020).
- Sleep Foundation. Nilong Vyas. Sleep Hygiene (2020). https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene (Accessed on September, 2020).
- Irish, L.A., et al. (2015). The Role of Sleeping Hygiene in Promoting Public Health: A Review of Empirical Evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews. Volume 22, Pages 23-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2014.10.001