How to Sleep Well

These guidelines can be helpful in alleviating all types of sleep disorders, and will help most people sleep well:

  • Maintain a regular wake time, even on days off work and on weekends
  • Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, medications, chores, and other activities help keep the inner clock running smoothly, allowing you to sleep more easily and soundly
  • Avoid napping during the day. If you must nap, try to nap at the same time every day; mid-afternoon is the best time for most people
  • Avoid ingestion of caffeine (coffee, tea, soda with caffeine, cocoa, or chocolate) within six hours of bedtime.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, especially when sleepy. Even a small dose of alcohol can have a potent effect when combined with tiredness
  • Avoid tobacco use close to bedtime or during the night
  • Exercise regularly. Confine vigorous exercise to early hours, at least six hours before bedtime, and do mild exercise at least four hours prior to bedtime
  • Avoid sleeping pills, or use them conservatively. Most doctors avoid prescribing sleeping pills for periods longer than three weeks
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills or certain other medications (consult your physician)
  • Do not drink alcohol to help you sleep at night. While alcohol may help you fall asleep more quickly, it severly affects the quality of sleep later in the night and may even keep you from sleeping through the night.
  • Got to bed only when sleepy
  • Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals—such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack, or 10 minutes of reading
  • Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex, and times of illness
  • If you get in bed and are not drowsy, and unable to fall asleep for about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when, and only when, you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night
  • While a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals.
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