Tips for Better Sleep


May 7, 2012

Not getting enough sleep is bad for our health. Sleep insufficiency is linked to motor vehicle accidents, occupational errors, and chronic diseases such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult obtains an average of less than 7 hours of sleep per night. The amount of sleep we need changes as we age and varies between individuals, but it is recommended that adults obtain 7-9 hours of sleep per night. The following are tips that can be used to help improve sleeping ability.

  1. Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning, even on weekends
  2. Avoid large meals immediately before bedtime
  3. Avoid nicotine
  4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime
  5. Include physical activity in your daily routine, though avoid vigorous exercise in the few hours before going to bed
  6. Limit daytime naps. If you must take daytime naps, limit them to 10-30 minutes, and avoid taking naps later in the afternoon or evening
  7. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading, taking a warm bath or shower, or listening to relaxing music
  8. Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only – avoid watching television or using computer while in bed
  9. Create a comfortable sleeping environment – get rid of distractions, such as noises or bright light, sleep on a comfortable mattress, keep the temperature cool
  10. If you frequently have trouble sleeping, contact your physician to identify and treat any possible underlying causes that may be preventing you from sleeping