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What Should I Do If I Can’t Sleep?


Sleep Hygiene Tips

The promotion of regular sleep is known as sleep hygiene. The following is a list of sleep hygiene tips which can be used to improve sleep.

  1. Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.

  2. Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot or too cold.

  3. Make sure your bed is comfortable and use it only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Remove all TVs, computers, and other “gadgets” from the bedroom.

  4. Avoid large meals before bedtime.

  5. Avoid caffeine and nicotine.

  6. Do not exercise late in the evening

  7. Try to limit light exposure and activity, create some “down” time before bed

  8. Try not to nap during the day, this will disrupt your sleep rhythm and night time sleep.

  9. If you cant sleep, stay in bed with lights off and think of calming thoughts, use meditation, no worries

B) Fill out a Sleep Diary and Discuss with your Doctor if the Sleep Hygiene Tips fail

It’s important to practice good sleep hygiene, but if your sleep problems persist or if they interfere with how you feel or function during the day, you should seek evaluation and treatment by a physician, preferably one familiar with assessing and treating sleep disorders. Before visiting your physician, keep a diary of your sleep habits for about ten days to discuss at the visit.

Include the following in your sleep diary, when you—

  • Go to sleep
  • Wake up
  • Get out of bed
  • Take naps
  • Exercise
  • Consume alcohol
  • Consume caffeinated beverages

See an example of a sleep diary  [PDF 579K].