It is common to experience a sleepless night occasionally.
The following tips may help you sleep better.
Reserve the bedroom only for sleeping and sexual
activities so that you come to link it with sleep. Go to another room to
read, watch television, or eat.
Avoid activities that might keep
you from getting a good night's sleep:
Do not take naps during the day, especially
in the evening.
Get regular exercise but not within 3 to 4 hours of
Do not drink or eat caffeine after 3:00 p.m. This
includes coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
Do not smoke or
use other tobacco products. Nicotine can disrupt sleep and reduce total sleep
time. Smokers report more daytime sleepiness and minor accidents than do
nonsmokers, especially in younger age groups.
Do not drink
alcohol. It may make you sleepy but also will probably wake you up after a
If you take medicine that may be stimulating, such as
antihistamines, decongestants, or asthma medicines, take them as long before
bedtime as possible.
Create routines to help you sleep:
Set a bedtime and time to get up, and stick
to them, even on weekends. This will help your body get used to a regular sleep
Exercise during the day.
Wind down toward the end
of the day. Don't take on problem-solving conversations or challenging
activities in the evening.
Take a warm bath before going to
After getting into bed, deliberately relax your muscles.
Imagine yourself in a peaceful, pleasant scene.
Control your environment:
Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and
Remove distractions from your bedroom, such as a clock,
telephone, or radio.
Use a humidifier or "white noise" machine to
block out background noise in your bedroom throughout the
Try wearing a sleep mask and earplugs at night.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.