Quality of sleep at night affect our ability to perform the next day. Mood and overall health are tied to the quality of sleep we get each night.
We all have nights when we cannot fall asleep. Life stresses, medical conditions, or maybe a noisy party next door. Whether you have short-term or chronic insomnia, there are things you can do to sleep easier.
We love to be comfortable, warm and cozy. Going to bed at night should give you the same feeling. Look at your surroundings and see if you can make changes in the bedroom. Here are some things to think about:
You may also want to consider taking some time to take a short walk outside during the day. Sunlight or bright light may help you relax at night.
Your body learns to respond to what you do out of habit. If you think about it, you have sleep habits too. Some of the things you may be doing make it hard for your body and mind to relax and unwind. A nightly routine will help make your body ready for sleep. Remember new habits take some time, so be patient and keep trying new things.
Here are some things you should do in the daytime to be ready for a good sleep at night:
There are also some changes you can make to your evening routine. See if some of these can work for you:
Keep in mind that nicotine and alcohol contribute to sleeplessness. Avoid alcohol within 6 hours of bedtime and smoking within 2 hours of bedtime. If do you smoke, quit ! Smokers have more disrupted sleep than nonsmokers.
Of course, everything will not always work all the time. If you cannot fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something, then try again when you fee drowsy.
Sleep is essential. Keep in mind there may be underlying medical issues affecting your ability to sleep like apnea, snoring, or pain. If you have long-term troubles with not sleeping, contact your doctor see if other treatments may help.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Sleep Foundation
Better Sleep Council Canada
The Canadian Sleep Society
Healthy Sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.n... . Updated August 2009. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Healthy Sleep Tips. National Sleep Foundation website. Available at: http://www.sleepfo... . Accessed November 29, 2012.
Insomnia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated November 26, 2012. Accessed November 29, 2012.
Yang CM, Spielman AJ, Huang YS. Insomnia. Current Treatment Options in Neurology . 2005,7:373-338.
Last reviewed November 2012 by Brian Randall, MD
Last Updated: 11/29/2012