Good bedtime habits can lead to improved sleep without pills or technology. Before taking the step to medicate to improve your sleep, make sure you are doing everything you can do to give your body the best chance of having a good night’s sleep:
1. Plan for a full 8hr of sleep every night.
2. Go to bed and wake up at a scheduled time, varying little on the weekend. Don’t just plan to go to bed when you are too tired to stay awake any longer – stick to a schedule instead. Likewise avoid sleeping-in excessively, it messes up your sleep cycle.
3. Exercise. Morning time is best, but some do well with early evening or after work exercises.
4. No caffeine after noon.
5. Limit eating within 2hr of bedtime.
6. The bedroom is for sleeping. Avoid TV’s, laptops, other & distractions around the bed.
7. Of course, limit alcohol as much as possible. It interrupts your deeper sleep stages, making your sleep not as productive.
8. While best to avoid heavy exercise, stretching techniques or even low energy Yogo is helpful as part of a bedtime routine.
9. Avoid napping during the day if you can help it.
10. If you find your mind is racing and you just can’t sleep – get up and work on something, preferably something monotonous or uninteresting (reading for work, catching up on emails). These things can remind you of how tired you are, and keep you from developing anxiety about laying in bed waiting for sleep to come (a frustrating cycle!).