Nearly one in five people suffers from occasional insomnia. These tips can help you get to sleep faster and sleep more soundly:
- Starting four to six hours before going to bed, avoid coffee, tea and other stimulants.
- Avoid smoking before bedtime or during the night.
- Avoid heavy meals and spicy foods right before bedtime.
- Get physical exercise during the day, but avoid exercise right before going to bed.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and not too hot or too cold.
To improve your ability to sleep more readily, create a strong association between your bed and sleep. Also, keeping a fixed schedule can help. For example:
- Only go to bed when you feel tired.
- Get up from bed if you are having difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- Only use your bed for sleeping or sex, not for reading, watching TV or eating.
- Get up at the same time each morning.
Limit the time you spend in bed to the time when you are actually asleep. Over the span of a couple weeks, keep a sleep diary to get your average sleeping time. Add half an hour to account for the time between going to bed and actually falling asleep. The best time for you to go to sleep is then calculated “backwards,” from when you intend to wake up. For instance, if your alarm is set for 6:00 a.m. and you need six hours of sleep, when you add on the half hour to fall asleep, then you should go to bed at 11:30 p.m.
Source: National Institutes of Health