Only try to sleep when you
already feel sleepy. If you are not sleepy
at bedtime, then do something else. Read a
book, listen to soft music or browse through
a magazine. Find something relaxing to take
your mind off worries about sleep. This will
relax your body and distract your mind.
Donít lie awake in bed. If
you are awake in bed more than 20 minutes,
leave your bedroom and engage in a boring
and quiet activity such as handwork or
reading a boring book elsewhere. Do not
remain in bed when you canít sleep. Return
to bed only when you feel sleepy. You must
not fall asleep outside the bedroom. Repeat
this process of often as necessary
throughout the night.
Get up and go to bed at the
same time every day, even when you donít
have to go to work or school.
Try to keep a regular
schedule during the rest of the day. Regular
times for meals, medications, chores, and
other activities help keep your inner body
clock running smoothly.
Use your bedroom only for
sleep and sex. Donít read, write, eat, watch
TV, talk on the phone, or play cards in bed.
Donít take naps. If you
absolutely cannot make it through the day,
make sure you nap less than one hour and are
awake by 3 pm.
Limit alcohol and caffeine.
Donít consume anything with alcohol or
caffeine in it four to six hours before you
go to bed.
Donít smoke or otherwise use
nicotine close to bedtime or during the
Exercise daily, but donít
engage in strenuous exercise within six
hours of bedtime.
Make sure your bedroom is
quiet, comfortable, fairly dark, and
slightly cool. The hum from a fan or a white
noise machine can help mask noises from
Don't have any clocks visible
to you when you go to bed.
Warm milk or a light snack
before bedtime can help you sleep, but avoid
large or heavy meals.
A hot bath 90 minutes before
bedtime can help you feel sleepy when you go
to bed. A hot shower isnít as good but can
also help if you donít like baths. The idea
is to increase your core temperature. You
should start feeling sleepy as your body
Relaxing bedtime rituals and
soothing activities can help you unwind and
make it easier to go to sleep. This can
include such things as a warm bath, light
snack or a few minutes of reading.
Schedule worry time during
the day and put worries out of your head
when it is time to sleep; you can write them
down on 3x5 cards, and then let go of them.
Avoid sleeping pills. If you
must take them, use them cautiously. Most
doctors wonít prescribe sleeping pills for
more than three weeks. Donít drink alcohol
while taking sleeping pills.
Restrict your time in bed. If
you continue to have difficulty falling
asleep, go to bed 10 minutes later each
night while still getting up at the same
time. Your healthcare provider can help with
this form of "sleep restriction therapy."