The National Sleep Foundation tracks Americans’ sleep habits and suggests these ideas to improve your slumber:
- Treat your bedroom as your sanctuary from the stresses of the day. Create a comfortable sleeping environment that is free of distractions.
- Be sure your bedroom is dark when you go to bed and will stay dark until you get the sleep you need. Use light blocking curtains or shades if necessary.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Allow enough time to wind down and relax before going to bed.
- If you find yourself still lying awake after 20 minutes, get out of bed. Get up and do something relaxing in dim light until you are sleepy.
- Avoid exposure to bright light late at night. Dim your lights when it’s close to bedtime, and use night lights for nighttime awakenings.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise in the morning can help you get the light exposure you need to set your biological clock. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, if you are having problems sleeping.
- Use a sound conditioner or ear plugs to block unwanted sounds.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages, large meals and alcohol right before bedtime.
- No late-afternoon or evening naps, unless you work nights. If you must nap, keep it under 45 minutes and before 3:00 pm.