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National Sleep Week 2023

March 12-18, 2023

Good sleep comes from what you do during the day as well as what you do at night.

The Yale Sleep Week Challenge

Check off each item to indicate your commitment to quality sleep for National Sleep Week March 12-18, 2023. Allow sleep pressure to build and put you to sleep at bedtime. Use light and darkness to train your body when it is physiologic day and night.

Process S

During the homeostatic sleep drive (S). adenosine accumulates while alert and awake and creates a sleep pressure that puts you to asleep at bedtime.

  • Avoid caffeine after noon (it blocks adenosine), it interferes with adenosine receptors and the pressure to sleep at bedtime
  • Avoid daytime napping (it clears adenosine); it can restore some alertness if needed at the expense of bedtime sleep pressure
  • Zeitgebers (the timing of daily habits) signals alert time, the sum alert time increases adenosine and the pressure to sleep at bedtime

Process C

The brain’s suprachiasmic nucleus is the master clock, though every cell keeps time. Zeitgebers are environmental cues of alert awake times. Process C: The circadian cycle is dictated largely by light and dark. Darkness triggers melatonin and tells the body it is physiologic night.

  • Rise at the same time each day
  • Seek morning sunlight after rising
  • Breakfast signals the day has begun, routine meals
  • Be alert and awake and active during the day, exercise
  • Avoid digital screen light for >4 hours before bed
  • Hot or warm shower or bath before bedtime
  • Make your bed comfortable and cozy
  • Cool the bedroom to 63-68 F degrees
  • Block out light
  • Quiet environment
  • Allow 7-9 hours of sleep per day
  • Turn off busy brain before sleep (set aside the to-do list)
  • Mindfulness meditation, prayer, or gratitude (purposefully relax)
  • Practice self-compassion, it is normal to wake a few times in the night and return to sleep
  • The bed is for sleep and intimacy only (If experiencing insomnia, get out of bed until sleepy)
  • Treat medical conditions that interfere with sleep