Preparing for a Good Night's Sleep
Most adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re having
trouble sleeping normally, try improving your sleep hygiene, or sleep habits:
Check the environment for things that may be disrupting you sleep. For example, if there’s:
- Too much light—put light-blocking shades of drapes over windows
- Too much noise—wear earplugs, or mask noise with the hum of a fan
- Try to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature.
Use your bed and bedroom for sleep—sex is okay, too, but not reading, watching TV, using electronic
device or other activities.
Follow a regular schedule for sleeping and waking, even on weekends
Limit naps to no more than an hour—and no later than midafternoon
Exercise in late afternoon to unwind. Don’t exercise just before bed. It can
wind you up again. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning an
Watch what you eat—a big or late evening meal may make you drowsy, but your digestive
system may keep you awake later. But, an empty stomach may also make you
toss and turn.
Watch what you drink as well
- Avoid caffeine for 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine is found in coffee,
tea, and chocolate. It is also found in some soft drinks, energy drinks,
bottled waters, over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. It may put you to sleep, but you map sleep poorly
later in the night.
- Drink some warm milk. It may help sleep.
Don’t smoke—nicotine in tobacco may keep you awake
Set worries aside—write down your concerns, or list the things you have to do tomorrow.
Decide when you will address any worries—then put them out of your mind.
Take a warm bath to relax
Listen to quite music, or read under soft light.
Try relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing or progressive relaxation (tensing and then releasing
one group of muscles at a time, starting at the feet and working up).
If these simple measure fail, see you your primary care provider. You may
have a sleep disorder.
Torrance Memorial Sleep Disorders Center