• 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 running smoothly.

  • 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 smoking period.

  • Avoid napping, however, if you must nap, try napping at the same time every day; mid-afternoon is the best time for most people.

  • 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.