A good night's sleep is important to keep us feeling healthy and energetic. Different people need different amounts
of sleep. Most people need between 6-9 hours of sleep per day. Many people have difficulty with sleep, either trouble
falling asleep or difficulty remaining asleep. Although sleeping pills may help, they can have significant side
effects. Also, pills can effect the sleep cycle so that the sleep is not refreshing. It's better to improve your
sleep habits to get a better night's sleep than to try and medicate the problem. Here are some suggestions to help improve
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
Don't take daytime naps. If you must have a
nap, limit it to 45 minutes or less, and before 3pm.
Stay active during the day.
Get some sunshine in the morning
and during the day. Keep the shades open during the daytime.
Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, Excedrin) within 6 hours
Avoid alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime.
Avoid all beverages within a few hours of bedtime to
decrease nighttime urination.
Avoid cigarettes and nicotine, especially in the evening.
Don't take decongestants
or "non-drowsy" cold medicines after 3pm.
Don't go to bed until you feel sleepy. If you are not tired,
do some boring chores or read quietly (in a different room) until you feel sleepy.
Avoid strenuous activity and
exercise before bedtime.
Don't read or do other work in bed. Use your bed only for sleeping.
Make sure your
bed and bedroom are comfortable.
Don't watch television in bed. No TV in the bedroom.
Keep the bedroom dark
Try a light snack, warm milk, or a bath before bedtime.
Make sure your medications don't cause insomnia.
you wake up in the middle of the night, and can't fall back to sleep, leave the bedroom and do some quiet activity for 10-20
minutes, before returning to bed.
Leave your worries and anxieties outside the bedroom. If you suffer from depression
or anxiety, seek treatment.
If you snore or have irregular breathing during sleep, get tested for sleep apnea.