Proper sleep habits are essential for a healthy lifestyle. Use the following suggestions if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

  • Keep a regular sleep pattern: It’s ok to nap to make up time for lost sleep however nap in early afternoon and limit it to 30 minutes. Avoid napping during the day if it’s making your sleep worse. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time every morning.
  • Make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. Keep the temperature at a cool comfortable level, keep your room as dark as possible and minimise as much noise as possible. Avoid bright lights, including television, before going to sleep because they are stimulating.
  • Only use your bed for sleeping and sexual activity, not for working, reading or watching television. This way your body will associate your bed with sleep, not with activity.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, get out of bed and do something soothing until you feel tired enough to go back to sleep. Aim to focus on your breathing rather than thinking of other things.
  • Create a relaxing bed-time routine: read a magazine, take a bath, make simple preparations for the next day, simple stretches
  • Use some kind of relaxation method before going to sleep (or upon waking) in order to calm your body and mind: meditate, pray, write down your thoughts, use relaxation skills and so on.
  • Eat right and get regular exercise. Avoid caffeine for at least six hours before going to sleep. Avoid alcohol and nicotine before going to bed and throughout the night. Don’t exercise or eat a heavy meal immediately before going to sleep.

If your sleep problems persist, if you can’t stay awake during the day, or if you’re feeling depressed, contact a medical professional for advice.