Sleep Hygiene

Making sure you get plenty of sleep can improve your blood pressure. Adults should get at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night, and the quality of sleep is just as important as how much you get. If you aren’t sleeping well, you may need to make additional lifestyle changes to make sure your body is getting the rest it needs. Some strategies to improve your sleep habits include:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Try to keep the same sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to maintain your body clock’s sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Avoid doing strenuous exercise the hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid bright artificial light from TV and computer screens the hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol just before bedtime.
  • Avoid nicotine and caffeine. The effects of caffeine can last up to eight hours, so even a late afternoon cup of coffee can interfere with sleep.
  • Spend time outside and be physically active.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.
  • Take a hot bath or use relaxation techniques before bed, and
  • Take naps in the early afternoon and limit them to 20 minutes.