- Get the right amount of sleep. This varies from one person to the next, usually between 7 and 9 hours.
- Avoid heavy or spicy meals. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages taken within 4 hours of bedtime will stimulate your body and prevent relaxation. Nicotine is a stimulant as well.
- Regular daily exercise will promote quality sleep, but avoid strenuous exercise within 3 hours of bedtime since it energizes and keep you awake.
- Avoid napping.
- Train your body to think of your bed as a place for sleep, not for eating, watching TV, or as your home office.
- Develop a relaxing pre-bedtime routine: listen to relaxing music, read, meditate or pray, stretch your body slowly, take a warm bath. Give your body regular clues that it will soon be time for sleep.
- Establish a comfortable place to sleep. Use comfortable bedding, adjust the temperature and ventilation to your liking, keep the room dark, and quiet.
- If you do wake up at night, give yourself 20 minutes to get back to sleep. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something quiet such as reading until you are sleepy. Don’t turn on the TV or perform a strenuous or important task. Sleep, not solving your troubles, should be the goal. Leave your chores, work, and problem solving for the morning.
Do you suffer from sleepless nights? What are the things that keep you tossing and turning? How do you get back to sleep when counting sheep just doesn’t work?