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Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep
- Daytime sleepiness
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Increased feelings of stress
- Impaired memory and thinking
- Lower motivation
- Slower reflexes
- Keep regular hours—Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.
- Regular exercise—Exercise helps relieve tension. Try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime or you may have a hard time falling asleep.
- Cut down on stimulants—Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in the evening interferes with your ability to fall asleep and may affect deep sleep. Instead, have a cup of herbal tea, which is noncaffeinated, before bed. You may even want to cut caffeine from your diet entirely.
- Do not smoke—Smokers tend to take longer to fall asleep, awaken more often, and experience disrupted, fragmented sleep. Talk to your doctor about how can successfully quit .
- Avoid eating before sleeping—Plan to finish eating 2–3 hours before you go to bed. If you eat too close to bedtime, then you could experience nightime waking.
- Drink alcohol in moderation—You may fall asleep faster, but drinking alcohol shortly before bedtime interrupts and fragments your sleep.
- Develop a sleep ritual—Whether it is taking a hot bath, drinking a cup of herbal tea, listening to music, or reading a book. Doing the same things each night just before bed cues your body to settle down for the night.
- Unwind early in the evening—Deal with worries and distractions several hours before going to bed. Make a list of things you need to do tomorrow, so you will not think about them all night. Try relaxation exercises, like slow rhythmic breathing.
- Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation—It is difficult to get deep, restful sleep on a bed that is too small, too soft, or too hard.
- Create a restful sleep environment—A dark, quiet room is more conducive to sleep. Sudden, loud noises or bright lights can disrupt sleep. You may want to try using a white noise machine to block out distractions. A room that is too hot or too cold can disturb sleep as well. The ideal bedroom temperature is between 60-65°F.
- Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex —Do not use the bedroom for things like paying bills, watching television, or discussing the problems of the day.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2015
- Update Date: 12/16/2015