Steps for Better Sleep

Sleep Hygiene is the habits, behaviors, and environmental factors that lead to a good nights sleep.

Think about the last few nights. Were you craving restorative sleep? Were you exhausted? Did you finally fall asleep just to wake up a couple hours later? Did you lie there thinking will I get more sleep? How do I work, parent, or see my friends when I am this tired? Will I have to call into work again or cancel going out because I cannot FUNCTION! Will my boss fire me? How will I pay the bills? No wonder you cannot fall back to sleep.

GET OUT OF BED if unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes.

Do something restful like sitting in a dark room. If you must read, use low light and read something boring.

Here are the first six steps from the Center for Clinical Interventions’ excellent Fifteen steps to good Sleep Hygiene. Check out all fifteen.

Five Steps for Better Sleep

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This includes weekends.
  2. Only sleep when you are actually sleepy (no naps).
  3. Get up after twenty minutes if you are still awake. This is not the time to let your mind spin “what if” scenarios. Your bed is for sleeping.
  4. Are you still drinking caffeine in the evenings? Stop. The effects of caffeine can last “typically four to six hours. So that cup of coffee you had at 6:00pm is still in your system up to six hours later. Read Caffeine and Sleep by Danielle Pacheco Staff Writer for the Sleep Foundation. URL
  5. Avoid alcohol.
  6. The bed is for sleeping and sex.

I understand that chronic pain is an additional factor in getting restorative sleep. I live with Trigeminal, occipital, and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and pelvic floor issues. I also have not been a big sleeper most of my life.

Once I learned about the serious health risks associated with sleeping under the recommended amount of sleep, I started applying these steps to my life.

The Cleveland Clinic identified the following SERIOUS health risks with long-term sleep loss.

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Reduced immune system function

For more information, read “Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep” from the Cleveland Clinic.

For many years, I slept three to four hours a night. After following these steps, I now get six to seven hours a night. I have reduced pain, think clearer, do more during the day, and life looks better. I want this for you.

Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her at

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