Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, which acts as a stimulant and keeps people awake. Sources of caffeine include coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, non-herbal teas, diet drugs, and some pain relievers. Smokers tend to sleep very lightly and often wake up in the early morning due to nicotine withdrawal. Alcohol robs people of deep sleep and REM sleep and keeps them in the lighter stages of sleep. Avoid all of these things at least 6 to 8 hours before sleeping if you want a good night’s sleep. Also, try to avoid eating any kind of large meal within two hours of bedtime.
4. Have a relaxing bedtime ritual.
A warm bath, reading, or another relaxing routine can make it easier to fall sleep. You can train yourself to associate certain restful activities with sleep and make them part of your bedtime ritual.
5. Sleep until sunlight.
If possible, wake up with the sun, or use very bright lights in the morning. Sunlight helps the body’s internal biological clock reset itself each day. Sleep experts recommend exposure to an hour of morning sunlight for people having problems falling asleep.
6. Don’t lie in bed awake.
If you can’t get to sleep, don’t just lie in bed. Do something else, like reading, watching television, or listening to music, until you feel tired. The anxiety of being unable to fall asleep can actually contribute to insomnia. Return to bed when you begin feeling sleepy, and try to avoid sleeping in locations other than your bed.
7. Control your room environment and temperature.
Maintain a comfortable temperature in the bedroom. Extreme temperatures may disrupt sleep or prevent you from falling asleep. Ensure a dark, quiet environment whenever possible. Try to avoid going to sleep with the television or radio on, because it can be a bad habit that leads to the need to have the TV or radio on every time you try and sleep.
8. Darken your bedroom — completely.
Recent research has shown that a dark bedroom helps us sleep better and more completely every night. Studies found that even small things — like the glow of your clock or LEDs from another device in your bedroom can reduce the overall quality of your sleep.
9. See a doctor if your sleeping problem continues.
If you have trouble falling asleep night after night, or if you always feel tired the next day, then you may have a sleep disorder and should see a physician. Your primary care physician may be able to help you; if not, you can probably find a sleep specialist at a major hospital near you. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively, so you can finally get that good night’s sleep you need.