Mental Health Care for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Treatment of insomnia starts with your morning routine! When most people think of sleepy hygiene they think of their bedtime routine, however, one of the strongest recommendations for treatment of insomnia occurs in the morning and not at night. The eye's exposure to natural sunlight in the morning starts the body's circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock). Light tells the body that it is time to wake up and sets the timer to tell the body to go to sleep later on. Daylight savings time is here! This is the perfect time of year to be exposed to lots of bright natural sunlight each morning. On the contrary, it also means you must block out bright light from your windows at night because the body's clock needs the absence of light to cue it's sleep time (also hence no electronic devices 1-2 hours before bedtime). But there is a second runner up when it comes to morning sleep hygiene! Physical activity also helps start the body's circadian rhythm in the morning. This is where I digress for a second. Physical activity is not just good for the circadian rhythm but also for heart health and emotional well-being. Physical activity too late in the day may cause some people to experience insomnia. However, one has to balance the pros and cons of the effects of physical activity late in the day on their health versus no physical activity at all. It is generally thought that if one can only exercise in the evening that they exercise in the evening. However, the best time to exercise for the circadian rhythm's sake is early in the morning upon awakening. In summary, physical activity and the retina's exposure to sunlight are two morning sleep hygiene recommendations that can help improve sleep quality. I hope this helps you get a better night's rest!
Here is a link to a government website on sleep hygiene.