How to Sleep Well
These guidelines can help most people sleep better, as well as many individuals with different types of sleepdisorders.
- Maintain a regular wake time, even on days off work and on weekends.
- Try to go to bed only when drowsy
- If you are in bed and are not drowsy, and unable to fall asleep for about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and engage yourself in a quiet activity somewhere else. Return to bed only when you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex, and times of illness.
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, don’t nap during the daytime. If you do nap, try to do so at the same time every day and for no more than an hour. Mid-afternoon (no later than 3:00 pm) is best for most people.
- Establishing relaxing pre-sleep rituals such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack, or ten minutes of reading.
- Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, medications, chores, and other activities help keep the brain’s inner clock running smoothly, allowing you to sleep more easily and soundly.
- Avoid large meals before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soda pop with caffeine, cocoa or chocolate) within six hours of bedtime.
- Don’t drink alcohol when sleepy. When you are sleepy, even a small dose of alcohol can affect activities like driving. Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills or certain medications. Don’t use alcohol to make you fall asleep at night. While alcohol may help you to fall asleep faster, it severely affects the quality of sleep later in the night and may even keep you from sleeping through the night.
- Avoid tobacco close to bedtime or during the night.
- Sleeping pills should be used only conservatively.