Here are some tips that you can follow to improve your SleepHealth:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including on the weekends. A “circadian clock” in our brain regulates our sleep-wake cycle and the body’s need to balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular wake time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help your ability to fall asleep at night.
- Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath and then reading a book or listening to soothing music. Excitement, stress or anxiety can make it more difficult to fall asleep or get sound, quality sleep. Avoid arousing activities before bedtime such as working, playing video games or paying bills.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, eyeshades, ear plugs, “white noise,” humidifiers and fans.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress. The average lifespan for a good quality mattress is about 9 -10 years.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. This strengthens the association between your bed and sleep.
- Take work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when going to sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Late afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help you fall asleep.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g., coffee or soft drinks) close to bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and typically remains in the body for 3 to 5 hours, but it can affect some people longer.
- Avoid nicotine (e.g., cigarettes or tobacco products). Nicotine is also a stimulant. When smokers go to sleep, they experience withdrawal symptoms that can cause sleep problems.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. Although many people think of alcohol as a sedative, it actually disrupts sleep.