Make the Most of Your Bedtime
- Make it a practice to sleep only when you are sleepy. If you have trouble falling asleep, get up and do something quietly until your eyelids are drooping and you know sleep will come.
- Don't take naps, and if you do, sleep less than one hour and make sure it's before 3 p.m.
- Try to schedule your getting up and going to bed routines so that you are doing them at the same time every day—even on weekends!
- Exercising before bedtime is not a good idea because it will re-energize you. Make sure you have at least four hours before bedtime if you must exercise in the evening.
- Develop sleep rituals so your body will know it's time for bed. Listen to quiet, relaxing music, read something soothing, have something warm and decaffeinated to drink, or practice some slow, deep breathing.
- Use your bed only for sleeping. Your bed is not an entertainment center or office, so watching television or doing paperwork in the bedroom is a real "no-no."
- Take a nice warm bath about an hour before bedtime. Studies show that the drop in body temperature after a relaxing bath will leave you feeling sleepy.
Published on July 15, 2003