Tips on Good Sleep Hygiene

  1. Regular bedtime and awakening time schedule including weekends should be maintained the same. Regardless of what time you fall asleep maintain the same waking schedule.

  2. A relaxing and regular bedtime routine should be made into a habit. One can incorporate activities such as a warm bath or shower, aromatherapy, listening to soft, soothing music, or reading. A sleep ritual has been proven to work for both young children and adults. The ritual acts as a cue to your body that it must rest for the night.

  3. The room one sleeps in should be dark, cool, quiet and comfortable. Ideally a comfortable mattress and pillows should be used.

  4. One's bedroom should be used for sleeping and sex. Television, computer and work related distractions are to be kept in another room.

  5. Final daily meal including snacks should be consumed 2-3 hours prior to regular bedtime. Minimize stimulants like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate. Avoid consumption of caffeine 6 hours prior to bedtime and alcohol and tobacco within 2 hours. Studies show that heavy smokers have a more difficult time falling asleep and will spend less time in crucially needed REM sleep.

  6. Regular exercise is important and should be completed a few hours prior to bedtime. When the cardiovasular system is healthy, it will make it easier for you to reach a resting stage.

  7. Avoid taking any naps during the day. Light dozing or disturbed sleep cannot replace good, solid restful sleep.

  8. Lie down to sleep in bed only. Do not make the bed a place to analyze your dilemmas. Plan to troubleshoot your worries and problems earlier in the day or early evening.

  9. Do not go to bed starving or with a stuffed belly. Either scenario will not allow you to fall asleep easily while your digestive system is responding to its needs.

  10. If you have not fallen asleep after 10-15 minutes in bed, get up and go to another room, watch television or read until you become sleepy and then try again.