Habits to Practice for a Great Night’s Sleep

woman sleeping

  • Go to bed and awaken at the same time every night. It is especially important to always get up at the same time no matter what time you go to sleep. Also, don’t sleep for an extended period of time trying to catch up on your sleep on weekends. Get adequate amounts of sleep every night.
  • Don’t nap.
  • Avoid caffeine completely for at least six hours before bed. Caffeine disturbs sleep even in those who think it does not.
  • Avoid alcohol before sleep. Alcohol may decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, but it will cause frequent awakenings and increase the risk of sleep apnea.
  • Avoid cigarettes before sleep. Nicotine acts as a stimulant.
  • Get moderate exercise regularly. Do not exercise within a few hours of bedtime. This will cause you to have trouble sleeping.
  • Sleep in an atmosphere conducive to sleep: dark, quiet, not too cold or too hot, good mattress, etc. This includes avoiding watching TV and listening to music to fall asleep. If your partner snores or moves frequently in their sleep have them see a doctor to determine if they have a sleep disorder that needs treatment.
  • Do not read, study, eat, watch TV or do other unrelated activities in bed. If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing. Try again to sleep a little later. Laying in bed and getting upset and frustrated will not help you fall asleep.
  • Don’t engage in exciting or emotionally upsetting activities too close to bedtime.
  • If you are a bedtime worrier and use your time in bed to worry about tomorrow, plan, reminisce or think, you should try to set aside a time to do these activities. About 15 minutes to an hour before bed write down all your problems and solutions. This helps clear your mind for sleep.
  • Don’t engage in activities that require high levels of concentration before bed.