Tips for Sound Sleep
You have the power to promote better sleep through certain behavioral, environmental, dietary, and exercise changes, such as the following:
The following changes in behavior could encourage a more restful night’s sleep:
- Have a regular schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
- Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep or intimacy. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed.
- Only go to bed when drowsy. Limit time spent awake in bed. If you are awake in bed for 15-20 minutes, get up and engage in a quiet activity in another room until drowsy.
- Avoid naps. Only nap if necessary to retain alertness (30 minutes maximum). Avoid napping six to eight hours prior to bedtime.
You may achieve a more restful night’s sleep by making the following changes to your environment:
- Maintain a dark bedroom. Avoid bright lights, which can disrupt sleep.
- Set a cool, comfortable temperature. Excessively warm bedrooms can disrupt sleep.
- Avoid loud noises. If necessary, use ear plugs or white noise machines to minimize noise.
- Free your bedroom of potential allergens, which can cause sneezing, sniffling, and coughing and disrupt sleep.
Certain foods and beverages can discourage restful sleep, so it’s important to know what to avoid before bed.
- Avoid caffeine, including coffee, some teas, and chocolate, six to eight hours before bedtime. Try to limit coffee to one or two cups per day.
- Hunger can disrupt sleep. Eat a light carbohydrate snack before bedtime and avoid large meals and sugar.
- Avoid alcohol three to five hours before sleep. Alcohol may help in falling sleep, but can cause poor quality, fragmented sleep.
Physical activity is a key part of good sleep hygiene, so it’s important to understand how much exercise to get and when.
- Exercise regularly, which promotes a regular sleep/wake schedule. The body likes a routine.
- Avoid strenuous exercise three to five hours before sleep. Exercise raises body temperature; sleep lowers body temperature, disrupting your regular sleep/wake schedule.