Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up each day at the same time. As creatures of habit, people have difficulty in adjusting to changing sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for the lack of sleep during the week and will make it more difficult to wake up early on Monday morning.
Exercise is great but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 4 or 5 hours before your bedtime.
Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Coffee, certain teas, colas, and dark chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and their effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night time. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only lightly. Furthermore, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Avoid alcoholic drinks just before bedtime. You might think having an alcoholic nightcap will help you sleep faster, but alcohol prevents you from REM sleep and deep sleep, keeping you longer in the lighter stages of sleep. You’ll also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off. However, drinking alcohol in moderation is okay.
Avoid large beverages and meals late at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that might interfere with sleep. And drinking too many fluids late at night might cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
Whenever possible, avoid medicines that disrupt or delay your sleep. Some commonly prescribed blood pressure, heart, or asthma medications, as well as some herbal and over-the-counter remedies for common allergies, coughs, and colds, may disrupt your sleep patterns. If you’ve got trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor (or pharmacist) to see if any medicines you’ve been taking might be contributing to your insomnia.
Don’t take naps after 4 p.m. Naps can help make up for lost sleep the night before, but late afternoon naps might make it harder to fall asleep at night time.
Relax before going to bed. Don’t over-schedule your day so that no time is left for resting. A reposing activity, such as listening to music or reading a book, should be part of your bedtime routine.
Take a hot bath before going to bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of such bath might help you to feel sleepy, and it can help you to slow down and relax, so you might be more ready to sleep.
Have a good sleeping environment in your bedroom. Get rid of everything that might distract you from the act of sleeping, such as bright lights, noises, an uncomfortable mattress, or warm temperatures. You’ll sleep better if the temperature in your bedroom is kept on the cooler side. A computer / smartphone / tablet / television in your bedroom might become a distraction and prevent you from a needed sleep. Having a comfortable mattress and an ergonomic pillow will help you to guarantee a good night’s sleep.