1. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day of the week. This includes weekends!
2. Have a relaxing pre-sleep routine. Soothing activities help prepare your body to sleep. Reading a book, drawing, relaxation exercises, or taking a bath are all good options.
3. Don’t stay awake in bed for more than 20 minutes. If you are having trouble falling asleep, leave your bed and go to another dark room. Engage in a relaxing, quiet activity. Return to bed once you feel sleepy.
4. Adjust your bedroom to promote sleep. The ideal sleep environment is dark, cool, and quiet. Turn off bright lights and electronic devices. Keep the temperature cool but still comfortable.
5. Avoid using electronic devices before bed. This includes cell phones, tablets, computers, and TV. The mental stimulation and the light from the screens both increase wakefulness and can interfere with sleep.
6. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine before bed. All of these can interfere with getting a good night of sleep. Stop using caffeine at least 4-6 hours before bedtime.
7. Exercise. Exercise can improve sleep, but is best if not performed just before going to bed. Try to exercise earlier in the day, at least three hours before bedtime.
8. Try to avoid napping. Napping during the day can make it more difficult to fall asleep at night. If you do nap, limit it to 30 minutes per day and only nap earlier in the day, instead of close to bedtime.
9. Watch the timing of your fluid intake. If you drink large amounts of liquid close to bedtime, you may wake up during the night to use the bathroom. Avoid drinking large quantities of fluid 2-3 hours before going to bed.
10. Stop watching the clock! Watching the clock can increase stress and worrying, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep. If you need your clock for an alarm, try turning your clock away from you or putting it under the bed.