Improve your sleeping habits – Avoid Insomnia

What can I do to improve my sleep habits?

Here are some things you can do to help you sleep better:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even if you didn’t sleep enough during the night. This will help train your body to sleep at night.
  • Do the same thing every night before going to bed to help your body get ready for sleep. You might try taking a warm bath, reading or doing some other relaxing activity every night before retiring. Soon you’ll connect these activities with sleeping, and they’ll help make you sleepy.
  • Use the bedroom for sleeping. Don’t eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you’re in bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. You may hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask if needed.
  • Avoid trying to fall asleep. The more you try to fall asleep, the more trouble you may have. Don’t watch the clock. Turn it away so you can’t see the time.

Lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep can be frustrating. If you’re still awake after 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.

Tips to help you sleep

  • Avoid or limit your use of caffeine (coffee, tea, colas, chocolate), decongestants, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Exercise more often, but don’t exercise within a few hours before going to bed.
  • Don’t start worrying about things when you go to bed. Set another time aside just for worrying. For example, you could spend 30 minutes after dinner writing down what’s worrying you and what you can do about it.
  • Try eating a light snack before going to bed, but don’t eat too much right before bedtime. A glass of warm milk or cheese and crackers may be all you need.

Don’t nap during the day if naps seem to make your insomnia worse.

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