Improving Your Quality of Sleep
Here are some things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Set a routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even if you’re not sleepy or haven’t had a good night’s sleep.
- Associate your bedroom with sleep. Don’t watch TV in bed or listen to music (unless the music is very calming).
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Don’t drink alcohol in the evening and before going to bed—you’re more likely to wake up during the night if you do. Alcohol also interferes with restful sleep. Don’t drink beverages with caffeine (such as coffee and tea) in the afternoon or evening. Doing so can affect your sleep as much as 12 hours later.
- Drink relaxing beverages before you go to bed. Herbal teas (chamomile tea is a good choice) and warm milk have sleep-inducing effects.
- Eat dinner several hours before bedtime so that your stomach isn’t full when you go to bed. Avoid having heavy, spicy meals.
- Exercise during the day. It will help you to sleep better at night. Don’t do strenuous exercise at night, because exercise stimulates the nervous system. However, relaxing forms of physical activity, like gentle stretching or yoga, can be helpful.
- Avoid watching disturbing films or TV shows before going to sleep.
- Practice relaxation routines at bedtime, such as progressive muscle relaxation or visualizing yourself in a pleasant locale. A warm bath may help. Try using relaxing essential oils, like lavender, in your bath or on a scented pillow.