1) Avoid the use of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Avoid eating large meals or exercising a within hours of bedtime. Instead cut off stimulants around 2pm. Eat larger meals early and save light snacks before bedtime. Exercise is important but its best done early allowing your body time to relax before bedtime.
2) Keep stress to a minimum if possible and try and set aside 30 minutes each day to reflect on the stress in your life. This will give you time to think about what your stressors are, how you can reduce this stress, and give your mind and body ample time to relax.
3) Your sleep environment is important. Our bodies need a soothing atmosphere to help promote sleep. Dim the lights close to bedtime, reduce unnecessary noises (TV, radio). We actually encourage people not to watch TV in the bedroom.
4) Develop good Sleep Hygiene by getting adequate sleep. Set a goal of at least 8 hours of sleep per night. Also have a set sleep and wake time and maintain the routine even on the weekends.
5) Lastly, if you have followed all of the above and are still suffering from poor sleep or the lack of sleep, then talk with your doctor or a Sleep Specialist. You may be suffering from an undiagnosed sleep disorder such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Symptoms include: excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, gasping while sleeping, etc.....Some sleep disorders can be life threatening, but treatable.
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