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Seven Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene

By Adria Miller and Mary Readinger, Milton Hershey School Senior Division Behavior Support Specialists

Teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, but often do not get near that amount because of the rigorous demands of school, activities, and other teenage responsibilities. With the recent changes in your daily schedule, getting the right amount of sleep can be difficult.

Lack of sleep can affect your ability to think clearly, mood, behavior, and academic and athletic performance. Sleep hygiene involves the habits and practices that are necessary to optimize your nighttime sleep and daytime alertness. Healthy sleep is a component of self-care and is important for one’s physical and mental health.

Here are seven tips for having good sleep hygiene:

  1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule

    Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, including weekends.

  2. Create an evening “wind-down” routine

    Do less stimulating or less mentally-challenging activities. For example: Meditate or listen to calm music. Also, stop TV and electronic use at least one hour prior to going to sleep.

  3. Create a sleep-friendly environment

    Keep the room cool, quiet, and dark. Use the bed for sleeping only. Remove electronic devices from the room.

  4. Exercise daily

    Do something active every day. But, avoid engaging in intense physical activity close to bedtime.

  5. Take in some daily sunshine

    Try to get outdoors daily, especially in the morning.

  6. Eat meals regularly

    Eat regular meals, but avoid consuming drinks or foods with caffeine five to six hours before bed. Also, avoid having large meals before bed or going to bed on an empty stomach.

  7. Nap smart

    If you do take a nap, keep it to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon.

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.