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Version 3f

Home > Resources > Sleep

Tips on Getting Enough Sleep

The National Sleep Foundation's Top tips for Paying off your Sleep Debt

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid nicotine.
  • Don't eat or drink too much close to bedtime.
  • Exercise at least three hours before bedtime to promote healthy sleep.
  • Use relaxing bedtime rituals, such as a bubble bath, massage or reading, to promote sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom invites sleep. It should be cool, quiet, dark and comfortable.
  • Use earplugs or "white noise" machines to block out noise. Masks and window coverings can block out excess light.
  • Associate the bed with sleep and sex only. Don't watch TV, read or pay bills there.
  • Limit sleepless time in bed. If you lie awake for more than 10 to 20 minutes, get up and try a relaxing activity, such as reading. Get back in bed when you feel sleepy again.

What disrupts your sleep?

  • Psychological factors: Work and family stress, depression and grief.
  • Lifestyle issues: Caffeine, exercise or mental stimulation too close to bedtime.
  • Shift work: Constantly switching from day to night shift throws off the body's circadian rhythms, disrupting the natural sleep cycle.
    Jet lag.
  • Environmental factors: A bedroom that's too bright, cold, hot or noisy disrupts the sleep cycle. So do interruptions from children and other family members, not to mention sleeping next to someone who snores or tosses and turns.
  • Physical factors: Arthritis and other diseases that cause chronic pain or discomfort can disrupt sleep. So can hormonal changes associated with menopause and menstruation.
  • Medications: Decongestants, steroids and medications for high blood pressure, asthma and depression can cause sleeplessness.

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