Sleep is controlled by neurons at the base of our brain that has "switch off" signals from other neurons that keep us awake. Consequently, sleeping is a very active and complex process that affects our functioning, physical and mental health by largely unknown mechanisms.

Sleep Hygiene, as a term, describes what can be done to promote good sleep and since this important for our health, here is a list of some sleep hygiene tips that could help you as well:

1. Maintaining a regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time. This schedule has to remain the same with a 20 minute buffer during nights alone.

2. Avoiding naps that decrease our sleep requirement for the following night. This will result in insomnia because of the difficulties in initiating sleep and sleep fragmentation. Also, our "Sleep Debt" necessary for easy sleep onset is reduced when we take naps.

3. Creating a quiet, dark and comfortable bedroom by setting the thermostat to a cooler temperature, switching off extraneous sleep depriving noises from the TV, creating a background "white noise" like from a fan, keeping pets outside the bedroom, turning off bright lights is extremely helpful for a good night’s sleep.

4. Rigorous exercising interferes with onset of sleep by circulating endorphins in the body. Sleep is continuous when exercises are done before 2:00pm every day.

5. The bed has to be uniquely reserved for sleep alone. Activities that associate the bed with wakefulness such as watching TV in bed or reading in bed have to be avoided.

6. If your mind is not at rest, it is best to get out of bed, sit in a chair and wait for the mind to calm down before going back to bed. Watching TV or surfing the net during these times is a definite taboo.

7. It is best to hide the clock before going to bed at night in the case of a clock watching habit.