Watch your Caffeine and Alcohol
- Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it has an alerting or wake-up effect. For some people, a small amount of caffeine early in the day can cause problems falling asleep ten to 12 hours later.
- Alcohol, in contrast, is often thought of as a sedative: a calming drug. However, while alcohol may speed the beginning of sleep, it actually increases the number of times you awaken in the later half of the night.
Everything you eat can affect your sleep.
- Tomato products and spicy foods give many people heartburn (as does eating too fast). Lying down makes heartburn worse, and falling asleep is more difficult. It will also wake you in the middle-of-the-night.
- Drinking too much of any beverage can lead to more awakenings because of the need to urinate during the night. Try to restrict your fluids before bedtime to help promote an uninterrupted night's sleep.
- Nicotine, like caffeine, is a stimulant. When smokers go to sleep, they experience nicotine withdrawal. Research suggests that nicotine is linked to difficulty falling asleep and problems waking up.
- Afternoon exercise can help deepen your sleep and help you fall asleep faster.
- Avoid strenuous exercise right before sleep and even up to three hours before bedtime
Start a relaxing bedtime routine, and do it every night
- Take a warm bath or shower, read a book, listen to soothing music
Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day
Make your room ideal for sleeping
Mostly subjective - but most sleep scientists believe that a slightly cool room contributes to good sleep.
Keep your bedroom dark - use light-blocking shades, lined drapes or an eye mask
- Noise - Sleep can be disrupted by the rumble of trains, the rise and fall of conversation, airplanes overhead, a dog barking, or a partner snoring. Try:
- ear plugs
- white noise, which comes from a noise-making machine such as a fan or generator
- double-pane windows
- relaxing music or tapes
- What's comfortable in a bed is purely subjective.
Go to bed when you're tired and turn off the lights
- If you don't fall asleep in 30 minutes, get up and do something else. If you lay there stressing out about NOT falling asleep, you'll only make it harder to eventually fall asleep.
Limit Nap Time
- Napping during the day might be just stealing hours from later.
- If you do nap - keep it at 20-30 minutes