• caffeine;
  • alcohol;
  • nicotine;
  • exercise;
  • sleep hygiene;
  • insomnia


Sleep hygiene education is a basic component of behavioral treatment for chronic insomnia, yet the actual sleep hygiene practices of people with insomnia have not been well documented. In this descriptive secondary analysis, midlife women ages 41–55 years with either chronic insomnia (n = 92) or good sleep (n = 29) kept diaries of sleep perceptions and sleep hygiene practices during 6 nights of somnographic monitoring at home. In both groups few reported smoking cigarettes (<10%), most drank caffeine (>80%), and many averaged 30 min of exercise per day (∼50%). Very few in either group (<10%) had regular (<30 min variation) bedtimes or getting-up times. Compared to women with good sleep, those with insomnia reported drinking less caffeine per day, being more abstinent from alcohol, and having smaller variations in day-to-day alcohol intake and bedtimes. Although some women with insomnia limit or refrain from caffeine and alcohol intake, many have not optimized behaviors believed to help prevent or modulate insomnia. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:225–236, 2004