Tossing and turning works for salads, not sleep problems. If you can't fall asleep within 15 minutes, the answer is not to keep trying. Don't force yourself to stay in bed, because the wait will be interminable. Instead, get out of bed and do some light activity. Getting your mind off sleep resets and reboots your system. Try a yoga pose, meditation or a short walk. To get back to sleep, music and meditation seem to work best.
Generally, we don't like telling you not to do something—unless it's smoking, slurping trans fats or spending 16 hours in front of the tube. But for optimum sleep preparation, there are a few things you should avoid to increase your chance of falling—and staying—asleep.
- No alcohol or nicotine for 1.5 hours before bed
- No exercise that makes you sweat for 1.5 hours before bed (doing things that make you sweat in bed are okay)
- No caffeine, caffeinated beverages or food or caffeine in pills for as long as you need to avoid (we recommend three hours) before bed
- No eating three hours before bed, so you can avoid reflux issues that can disturb sleep