Tips for Good Sleep
- Keep regular sleep habits. Try to get to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day—even on weekends and vacations.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening. If consumed too close to bedtime, the caffeine in coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and some medications can keep you from sleeping or sleeping soundly. Even though it can make you feel sleepy, drinking alcohol around bedtime also can disturb sleep.
- Time your exercise. Regular daytime exercise can improve nighttime sleep. But avoid exercising within 3 hours of bedtime, which actually can be stimulating, keeping you awake.
- Avoid daytime naps. Sleeping in the afternoon can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you feel you cannot get by without a nap, set an alarm for 1 hour. When it goes off, get up and start moving.
- Reserve your bed for sleeping. Watching the late news, reading a suspense novel, or working on your laptop in bed can stimulate you, making it hard to sleep.
- Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.
- Avoid liquids and spicy meals before bed. Heartburn and late night trips to the bathroom are not conducive to good sleep.
- Wind down before bed. Avoid working right up to bedtime. Do relaxing activities, such as listening to soft music or taking a warm bath, that get you ready to sleep. (A warm bath also may soothe aching muscles.)