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Creating Healthy Bedtime Habits

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Dr. Schnoes: There are a numbers of healthy ​hygiene habits and the first one that I would recommend to anyone regardless of their age is nothing but sleep in bed. It really is about teaching your brain and your body that bed is for sleep, and teens are on computers in bed, they’re on Netflix in bed, they’re reading in bed, they’re on their cell phones in bed; they’re on their iPads like everything is in bed. Sometimes everything is bed from the time they’re home until they shut the lights off to go to sleep and so they’re living their life at home, in their bedroom. That’s not healthy either, so number one, nothing but sleep in bed. Number two, making sure that they have life outside of their bedroom and that they really keep their bedroom for sleep so that they can make that association. It’s not uncommon to have kids sleep in the clothes they put on after school, again there’s no cue then for the body and the brain to know that day is over, night has come and it’s time to go to sleep and so routine things just like bathing, brushing teeth, washing your face, putting on pajamas, all associated with bedtime, not two hours ahead of bed time.

So, nothing but sleep in bed, a good routine that bumps up against bed, and then making sure the room is quiet and dark when they go to bed. So, shutting of the phone, not having the computer or TV on as you’re falling asleep, not even having music on as you’re going to sleep. White noise is ok, but all of those habits, getting all of that in place matters a great deal.