Tips For A Good Night's Sleep
Adapted from "When You Can't Sleep: The ABCs of ZZZs,"
by the National Sleep Foundation.
Go to bed at a set time each
night and get up at the same time each morning.
Disrupting this schedule may lead to insomnia. "Sleeping
in" on weekends also makes it harder to wake up early on
Monday morning because it re-sets your sleep cycles for
a later awakening.
Try to exercise 20 to 30 minutes
a day. Daily exercise often helps people sleep, although
a workout soon before bedtime may interfere with sleep.
For maximum benefit, try to get your exercise about 5 to
6 hours before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol:
Avoid drinks that contain
caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people
awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate,
soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain
relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often
wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal.
Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and
keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep.
A warm bath, reading, or another
relaxing routine can make it easier to fall sleep. You
can train yourself to associate certain restful
activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime
If possible, wake up with the
sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight
helps the body's internal biological clock reset itself
each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of
morning sunlight for people having problems falling
If you can't get to sleep, don't
just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading,
watching television, or listening to music, until you
feel tired. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep
can actually contribute to insomnia.
Control your room temperature:
Maintain a comfortable
temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures may
disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep.
See a doctor if your sleeping problem continues:
If you have trouble falling
asleep night after night, or if you always feel tired
the next day, then you may have a sleep disorder and
should see a physician. Your primary care physician may
be able to help you; if not, you can probably find a
sleep specialist at a major hospital near you. Most
sleep disorders can be treated effectively, so you can
finally get that good night's sleep you need.
What Happens When You Sleep?
The Different Stages of Sleep
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and