“Exercise regularly—studies suggest that being more physically active can lead to better sleep.”
Improving Sleep Habits
If you have trouble getting to sleep at night or if you wake up not feeling rested, improving your sleep habits may help. Sometimes just making minor changes in your lifestyle can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep. Your doctor will discuss these suggestions with you and help you figure out ways to improve your sleep habits. Try these tips and see what happens! If these tips don't help you sleep better, make an appointment with the Alabama Sleep Clinic to discuss your sleep problems with one of our highly trained doctors.
Guidelines for better sleep
- Get up at the same time every day, even on your days off and on the weekends.
- Go to bed only when you are drowsy.
- Use your bedroom for only sleep and sex.
- If you're not drowsy and can't fall asleep in about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and engage in a quiet activity elsewhere. Don't let yourself fall asleep outside your bedroom. Return to bed when, and only when, you are sleepy. Repeat this process as often as necessary throughout the night.
- Avoid daytime napping. If you really need an occasional nap, keep it to no more than one hour. Only nap in your bedroom. The bedroom should be quiet, dark and lend itself to sleep.
- Establish a relaxing pre-sleep ritual like a warm bath, a light bedtime snack or 10 minutes of reading.
- Exercise regularly. Restrict vigorous exercise to at least six hours prior to bedtime and mild exercise to at least four hours prior to bedtime.
- Keep a regular schedule. To help keep your inner clock running smoothly, have regular times for meals, medications, chores and other activities.
- Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime. However, a light snack before bedtime can promote sound sleep.
- Avoid eating or drinking anything with caffeine within six hours of bedtime. That includes chocolate, many soft drinks, tea, and coffee.
- Even a small dose of alcohol can produce dangerous levels of sleepiness if you drink when drowsy. Don't drink alcohol while taking sleep medication, sedatives, or other medicines that may interact with alcohol.
- Avoid using nicotine close to bedtime or during the night.