Sleep Hygiene

Choosing an orthopedic mattress for sleeping - Correct and incorrect sleeping position on the side, vector illustration.

Sleep can be improved, especially the time it takes to fall asleep, by following the following simple suggestions.

1. Before bedtime, resolve dilemmas. Avoid stressful situations or conversations at bedtime—have them earlier in the evening.
2. Make lists of things to do, or lists of worries before bedtime in order to clear your mind.
3. Explore relaxation techniques such as reading, soft music, warm bath, mediation or prayer to help you relax before bedtime. Do these techniques for 30 minutes to wind down.
4. Once in bed, change the channel of your mind to thoughts of a pleasant previous activity or other pleasant visual imagery.
5. Know your medications. Ask which ones are likely to keep you awake.
6. Do not consume caffeine (soft drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate), nicotine or large quantities of food in the late afternoon or evening. Do not go to bed hungry or stuffed.
7. Do not have an alcoholic beverage close to bedtime.
8. Remove electronic devices, such as computers, smart phones and TVs from the bedroom.
9. Do not use electronics 30-60 minutes before bed because they cause mental stimulation and the blue light may decrease melatonin production.
10. Do not stay in bed if you cannot sleep. Instead, get up and do something else until sleepy.
11. Do not nap during the day.
12. Keep a regular sleeping schedule.
13. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time in the morning. Be consistent with doing this even on the weekends.
14. Ensure that your bedroom is relaxing, dark and quiet with a comfortable temperature.
15. Obtaining regular exercise will help you fall asleep easier.
16. Block out light by using an eye mask or heavy curtains.
17. Block out sound by using a white noise machine, sleep app or a fan to drown out sounds.