Seven Strategies for Successful Sleep
1. Establish a regular sleep schedule.
- Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each day.
2. Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible.
- Keep the temperature in your room comfortable and even a little cool when you sleep.
- Keep your bedroom quiet OR wear ear plugs.
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible; consider using an eye mask if it is not possible to darken your room.
3. Respect your bed.
- Use your bed for sleep and sexual activity only.
- Avoid studying, watching TV or using your laptop in bed.
4. Allow your body time to transition to sleep.
- Try to stop doing schoolwork or other mentally strenuous activity at least 20 minutes before you go to sleep.
- Try a relaxation or deep breathing exercise before trying to sleep.
5. Getting physical activity during the day will help you sleep at night.
- Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality.
- Practicing a wellness activity, such as meditation, yoga or tai chi has been shown to improve sleep quality.
6. Reduce your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
- Caffeine has a half-life of 3 to 7 hours in the body.
- Eating a heavy meal, smoking cigarettes and/or consuming alcohol also negatively impacts sleep quality. Try to avoid these in the hours prior to bedtime.
7. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night try:
- Altering your sleep environment in the ways described above. Soft, relaxing music can also help promote relaxation and bring on sleep.
- Making list of anything that has you worried or preoccupied, especially things from your next day's "to do list."
- If an hour passes and you still cannot fall asleep, get up and do a relaxing, non-stimulating activity (for example, read a boring book, have a cup of hot tea, or knit)