The most important step to getting a good night’s sleep is to make sleep a priority. If you are too busy, re-evaluate where you are spending your time. Don’t sacrifice sleep – and ultimately your health.
- Go to bed and wake up at about the same time each night, even on weekends. A consistent sleep schedule will help you fall asleep more quickly.
- Create a consistent bedtime routine that you begin about an hour before you want to go to sleep. Once you begin your routine, avoid food, caffeine, and alcohol.
Create a pleasant sleeping environment.
- Keep your bedroom dark, cool, peaceful, and quiet.
- Avoid watching television or using a computer in bed.
- Choose a mattress and pillows that are comfortable for you.
Use your waking hours wisely.
- Exercise 20-30 minutes each day, preferably in the morning.
- Avoid napping during the day. If you must nap, limit it to no more than 30 minutes.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes, especially in the evening.
- Spend some time in the sun. Sunlight helps regulate your biological clock.
- Eat healthy meals and take vitamin supplements. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially in iron, can lead to poor sleep.
If you do have trouble falling asleep, don’t continue to lie in your bed. Get up and have a cup of milk or read a little until you feel drowsy again.
And remember, just as some habits and behaviors can make it easier for you to get a good night’s sleep, others can make it more difficult:
- Sleeping in an environment that is too noisy, too bright, too hot, or too cold
- Using too much caffeine or alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Napping during the day
- Not following a consistent sleep routine, including consistent bedtimes and wake- up times