Sleep Problems

Lifestyle & Management

Healthy Sleep Habits

Simple improvements in your habits related to sleep are often very effective. 

During the Day

  • Stick to a regular sleep and wake schedule.
  • Exercise every day, but not within three hours of bedtime.
  • Get plenty of bright light during the day.
  • Avoid napping. 
  • If you are taking a medication that may cause sleepiness try to take it at bedtime.

At Bedtime

  • Limit time in bed to no more than 7 or 8 hours a night.
  • Do not go to bed unless you are sleepy.
  • Develop a bedtime routine that is the same every night.
    • Avoid screens such as TV or cell phones for two hours before bedtime
    • Take a warm bath about 90 minutes before getting into bed.
    • Use relaxation and stress control techniques before going to bed.
  • Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, especially in the afternoon or evening.
  • If hungry, have a light snack or some warm milk, unless you suffer from reflux (heartburn).
  • Keep bedclothes and room temperatures comfortable. Also keep the bedroom dark and quiet (use ear plugs or a mask if they help).
    • Try using a fan or white noise machine to block external noise.
  • Use your bed only for sleeping or having sex. Do not eat, watch TV, or have phone conversations in bed.

If you cannot sleep after about 30 minutes, go to another room, keep lights dim, and read or listen to soothing music until you feel sleepy. Then get back into bed.


Last Updated January 2023

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