- Get up about the same time every day.
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals, e.g.,
warm bath, light bedtime snack, or 10 minutes of reading.
- Exercise regularly preferably outside getting
a regular dose of bright light. Confine vigorous exercise to early hours,
at least six hours before bedtime, and do mild exercise-such as simple
stretching or walking-at least four hours prior to bedtime.
- Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals,
medications, chores, and other activities help keep the inner clock
- Avoid ingestion of caffeine (coffee, tea, soft
drinks, chocolates) within six hours of bedtime. Avoid alcohol, especially
when sleepy. Even small dose of alcohol can have a potent effect when
combined with tiredness. Try to eliminate caffeine and alcohol altogether
if you have trouble sleeping.
- Avoid smoking close to bedtime. Try to eliminate
- Avoid napping, however, if you must nap, try
napping at the same time every day; mid-afternoon is the best time for
- Avoid working in your bedroom, i.e., do not
use it as an office. Use your bedroom primarily for sleeping and intimacy.
- Avoid sleeping pills, or use them conservatively.
Most doctors avoid prescribing sleeping pills for periods longer than
three weeks. Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills.