Sleep: top tips for restful sleep

Everyone knows the benefits of a good night's sleep. But for some, sleep does not come easily.
The following hints may help you get into better sleeping habits.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get up at the same time each morning, including weekends, even if you have had a disturbed night's sleep.
  • Expose yourself to bright light soon after waking.
  • Avoid daytime naps. If you do nap, keep it short (10-30 minutes duration).
  • Be active in the day. Regular exercise improves sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, cocoa, cola or chocolate) after midday.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid excessive alcohol before bed, as it can result in a disturbed sleep.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise or a heavy meal just before going to bed.
  • Find a relaxing bedtime routine, such as having a warm bath, reading a book or having a drink of warm milk.
  • Try to ensure your bedroom is quiet and dark and a temperature that is comfortable for sleeping.
  • Avoid screen time before bed (including television, computers, mobile phones or other electronic devices).
  • Reserve your bed for sleeping and intimacy only. Don't read or watch TV in bed.
  • Go to bed when you are tired.
  • If you are still awake after 20 minutes of trying to go to sleep, get up and do something relaxing in another room. (Don’t watch TV or use a computer or other device with a glowing screen.) Go back to bed when you feel tired.

If you have tried these sleep tips and continue to have trouble sleeping, see your doctor who can suggest treatments for insomnia.

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