Whether it’s a stressful workday or concerns with family keeping you awake at night, it’s not always easy to get the sleep you need to feel refreshed and rested the next day. You are not alone.
More than half of all adults in the United States experience insomnia at least a few nights a week. William Hart, M.D., who heads the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Santa Cruz Sleep Disorders Center, gave his top 10 tips on how to get some quality shut-eye.
“Getting enough sleep is very important for both your physical and emotional health,” says Dr. Hart. “Remember, sleep is a process, so a consistent sleep schedule can help. Although you shouldn’t have to work at falling asleep, creating the right conditions will help sleep come naturally.”
Top 10 Tips For A Good Night's Sleep
Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and comfortable.
Use your bed to sleep in, not to read or watch TV.
Go to bed at a regular time every night, and get up at the same time each morning. Don’t be tempted to take a nap during the day, particularly later in the day or evening.
Keep it quiet. Earplugs, a white noise machine or fan can block out disturbing sounds.
Limit alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, especially close to bedtime. All of these can cause you to wake up in the night and not be able to get back to sleep.
Don’t drink and eat too much close to bedtime. However, a light snack may help you sleep.
Regular exercise can help you sleep better, but make sure you don’t exercise within three hours before going to bed.
Do something relaxing before bedtime such as reading a book, meditating, doing yoga or listening to soft music.
Write down your sleep habits and patterns in a diary that you can share with your doctor.
Keep a worry journal. If racing thoughts prevent sleep you can remind yourself that you have completed your worrying for the day with all your anxieties tucked away in the journal for the night. This may calm you as you fall sleep, reassuring yourself that you can always worry again tomorrow.