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Creating a Healthy Sleep Routine
Environmental Strategies for Healthy Sleep
- Make sure you have a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation.
- Your bedroom should be very dark. Invest in shades and curtains that keep out the maximum of light.
- Try sleep masks.
- If noise keeps you awake, try earplugs or white noise (a machine that uses static noise to drown out disturbing noise).
- Be sure that the temperature of the room is cool.
- Avoid any distractions like TVs, computers, or cell phones. Noises and lights are distracting. Turn off computer screens a couple hours before bedtime.
Behavioral Strategies for Healthy Sleep
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, or chocolate) in the afternoon and evening.
- Set aside some time for worrying and dealing with upsetting situations.
- Exercise regularly, but not within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Do not nap during the day, especially after 3 pm.
- Do not stay up too late. Make sleep a priority.
- Go to bed at the same time each night.
- Use your bed for sleep and sex only.
- Take a warm bath to relax before going to bed.
- Have a light snack about a few hours before bed, but avoid spicy foods or large meals which can cause heartburn.
- Avoid drinking a lot of water before bedtime or you may need to urinate frequently during the night.
- Check your cold medicine ingredients to see if it contains caffeine or other stimulants.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
National Sleep Foundation http://www.sleepfoundation.org/
Better Sleep Council Canada http://www.bettersleep.ca/
The Canadian Sleep Society http://www.css.to/
Healthy Sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthy%5Fsleep%5Fatglance.pdf. Updated August 2009. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Healthy Sleep Tips. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/healthy-sleep-tips. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Insomnia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated November 26, 2012. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Yang CM, Spielman AJ, Huang YS. Insomnia. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 2005,7:373-338.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012
- Update Date: 11/29/2012