How To Sleep Well
The following are some general guidelines that help promote sleep wellness.
Please speak to your healthcare provider for more information.
1. Maintain a regular wake time, even on days off work and on weekends.
2. Try to go to bed only when you are drowsy.
3. If you are not drowsy and are unable to fall asleep for about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Do not permit yourself to fall asleep outside the bedroom. Return to bed when, and only when, you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night.
4. Use your bedroom only for sleep, sex and times of illness.
5. Avoid napping during the daytime. If you nap, try to do so at the same time every day for no more than one hour. Mid-afternoon (no later than 3:00pm) is best for most people.
6. Establish relaxing pre-sleep rituals such as a warm bath, light bedtime snack, or ten minutes of reading.
7. Exercise regularly. Confine vigorous exercise to early hours, at least six hours before bedtime, and do mild exercise at least four hours prior to bedtime.
8. Keep a regular schedule. Regular times for meals, medications, chores, and other activities help keep the inner clock running smoothly.
9. While a light snack before bedtime can help promote sound sleep, avoid large meals.
10. Avoid ingestion of caffeine within six hours of bedtime.
11. Do not drink alcohol when sleepy. Even a small dose of alcohol can have a potent effect when combined with tiredness.
12. Avoid the use of nicotine close to bedtime or during the night.
13. Sleeping pills should be used conservatively. Most doctors avoid prescribing sleeping pills for periods longer than three weeks.
14. Do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills or other medications.
Courtesy of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (www.aasmnet.org)