Follow a Consistent Sleep Schedule, Even on Weekends
- Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. This sets the body’s “internal clock” to expect sleep at a certain time night after night.
- Set a bedtime that is early enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Avoid napping. If you must nap, try to keep it short and before 5 p.m.
Do Not Use Your Bed in the Daytime
- Even if it means moving from your bed to the couch, try to do so for the sake of sleep health. Do not use your bed for things like watching TV, talking on the phone or eating. Your bed should only be used for sleep and sex.
Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, Heavy Meals, and Exercise 4-6 Hours Before Bedtime
- Stimulating chemicals and energizing activities keep you awake, so try to limit their intake before bed,
- While alcohol may help to bring on sleep, after a few hours it acts as a stimulant, which decreases sleep quality. Try to limit drinking to 0-2 drinks/day and avoid drinking in the hours before bedtime.
Go to Sleep When You Are Truly Tired
- Struggling to fall asleep can be frustrating. If you can’t sleep after ~20 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, and do a relaxing activity, such as reading or meditating, until you are tired.
Establish a Soothing Pre-Sleep Routine
- Signal to your mind that it is time to wind down with a period of relaxing activities about 30 min-1 hour before bed. Some activities can include:
- Taking a bath/shower (the rise and then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness)
- Reading a book
- Meditating to calm your thoughts. You can do this on your own or using an app like Calm, Headspace, or Insight Timer.
Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
- A quiet, dark, and cool environment best promotes sleep. To achieve this, use earplugs or invest in a white noise machine to lower noise volume, use blackout curtains or an eye mask to block light, and keep the temperature between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep computers, TVs and work materials out of the room in order to strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleeping.
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows.