Sleep isn't just "time out" from daily life. It is an active state important for renewing our mental and physical health each day. More than 100 million Americans of all ages, however, regularly fail to get a good night's sleep. For most people, falling asleep and staying asleep are parts of a natural process. Good sleepers are likely to have developed certain lifestyle and dietary habits that promote sound sleep. These habits or behaviors - known as sleep hygiene - can have positive effects on sleep before, during, and after time spent in bed. Sleep hygiene is mostly a matter of common sense, but the techniques listed may help you sleep better on a regular basis.
- For two weeks, keep a log of your sleep habits to identify trouble spots
- Use a comfortable bed
- Go to bed only when sleepy
- Get up the same time each day
- Only take fifteen minute naps
- If you cannot sleep after around fifteen minutes, get up and read or watch television
- Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark
- Make the hour before bedtime quiet time
- Avoid caffeine; maximum of three drinks a day
- Avoid smoking one hour before bed
- Avoid alcohol before bed, it will make you sleep, but give you fragmented sleep
- Place the clock out of sight if you tend to clock watch
- Try to avoid liquids after 7pm, so you will not be getting up to go to the bathroom.