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  • Writer's pictureMandy Hendrickson B.A.

Sleep and Sleep Hygiene

Author: Mandy Hendrickson B.A.


Feet sticking out from the covers on a bed

For people with eating disorders, sleep disturbances such as insomnia tend to be common. Anxiety associated with sleep disturbances has been shown to increase both mental and physical stress on the body. In recovery, poor sleep can have major implications on mood, and increase vulnerability to ED behaviours. In this post, we want to touch on the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene, as well as give some actionable tips to improving your sleep today. If major sleep disturbances are occurring, it is recommended that you seek professional medical help.


Sleep is an essential function of human life, allowing the body and mind to recharge.

  1. Physical/Mental Recovery (Charest & Grandner, 2020; Vitale et al. 2019)

  2. Improves Immunity (Haspel et al. 2020)

  3. Improves Concentration (Okano et al. 2019)

  4. Reduced Stress/Burnout (Okano et al. 2019)


What is Sleep Hygiene?


“Sleep hygiene is defined as a set of behavioral and environment recommendations intended to promote healthy sleep, and was originally developed for use in the treatment of mild to moderate insomnia.” (Irish et al. 2015).


Tips to Enhance Sleep & Sleep Hygiene:

  1. Set a Sleep Schedule Set specific times you aim to be asleep and wake up; normalizing this routine will allow our brain and body to become familiar with this routine

  2. Follow a Nighttime Routine Keep a consistent, manageable routine, with limited light exposure – aim to begin your winddown around 30minutes before your aimed “sleep” time (Irish et al. 2015)

  3. Cultivate Healthy Daily Habits Exposure to day light, limit caffeine and nicotine intake in the evenings, restrict your “in-bed” activity, and create a comfortable bedroom environment (Caddick et al. 2018)


Resource:

“Getting a Good Night’s Sleep” – Information & Sleep Diary


References:

Caddick, Z. A., Gregory, K., Arsintescu, L., & Flynn-Evans, E. E. (2018). A review of the environmental parameters necessary for an optimal sleep environment. Building and environment, 132, 11-20.

Charest, J., & Grandner, M. A. (2020). Sleep and athletic performance: impacts on physical performance, mental performance, injury risk and recovery, and mental health. Sleep medicine clinics, 15(1), 41-57.

Haspel, J. A., Anafi, R., Brown, M. K., Cermakian, N., Depner, C., Desplats, P., ... & Solt, L. A. (2020). Perfect timing: circadian rhythms, sleep, and immunity—an NIH workshop summary. JCI insight, 5(1).

Irish, L. A., Kline, C. E., Gunn, H. E., Buysse, D. J., & Hall, M. H. (2015). The role of sleep hygiene in promoting public health: A review of empirical evidence. Sleep medicine reviews, 22, 23-36.

Okano, K., Kaczmarzyk, J. R., Dave, N., Gabrieli, J. D., & Grossman, J. C. (2019). Sleep quality, duration, and consistency are associated with better academic performance in college students. NPJ science of learning, 4(1), 16.


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