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Sleep Hygiene: Lifestyle Tips

Mary Junkin, PA-C

Following these tips can help most people who are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

Lifestyle Tips

Get regular exercise each day, preferably in the morning. There is good evidence that regular exercise improves restful sleep and overall health. This includes stretching and aerobic exercise. Try to limit exercise 3 hours before bedtime.

  • Get plenty of sunlight in the outdoors, particularly later in the afternoon.
  • Use the evening hours for settling down. Avoid challenging or stimulating activities in the hours before bedtime. Avoid bright lights.
  • Try to avoid naps during the day
  • Pick a regular bedtime and wakeup time and stick to them throughout the week.
  • Avoid all screens including phones, tablets, TVs, or other tech devices 1 hour before going to sleep.
  • Once you are in bed, relax from head to toe, and guide your mind to pleasant thoughts.
  • Don’t command yourself to go to sleep or “clock watch”. This only makes the mind and body more alert.
  • If you lie in bed awake for more than 20-30 minutes, get up and go to a different room to do a quiet activity. Return to bed when you feel sleepy. Do this as many times during the night as needed.