Tips for a better night's sleep

Try a relaxation technique

Don't go to bed unless you are sleepy. If you are not sleepy at bedtime, then do something else. Read a book, listen to soft music or browse through a magazine. Find something relaxing, but not about sleep. This will relax your body and distract your mind. If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, then get out of the bed. Find something else to do that will make you feel relaxed. If you can, do this in another room. Your bedroom should be where you go to sleep. It is not a place to go when you are bored. Once you feel sleepy again, go back to bed.

Bedtime ritual & routine

  • Begin rituals that help you relax each night before bed. This can include such things as a warm bath, light snack or a few minutes of reading
  • Get up at the same time every morning. Do this even on weekends and holidays
  • Get a full night's sleep on a regular basis. Get enough sleep so that you feel well-rested nearly every day
  • Avoid taking naps if you can. If you must take a nap, try to keep it short (less than one hour). Never take a nap after 3 p.m.

Regulate your schedule

  • Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, medications, chores, and other activities help keep the inner body clock running smoothly
  • Don't read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone, or play cards in bed

Avoid stimulants

  • Do not have a beer, a glass of wine, or any other alcohol within six hours of your bedtime
  • Do not have a cigarette or any other source of nicotine before bedtime

Work out earlier in the day

  • Avoid any tough exercise within six hours of your bedtime
  • You should exercise on a regular basis, but do it earlier in the day. (Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program)
  • Do not go to bed hungry, but don't eat a big meal near bedtime either

Make your bedroom a "stress-free zone"

  • Try to get rid of or deal with things that make time during the day to get all of your worries out of your system. Your bed is a place to rest, not a place to worry
  • Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little bit cool. An easy way to remember this: it should remind you of a cave.
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