Insomnia Got You Down? Try These 12 Sleep Tips

Getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night can help you feel and do your best. But it’s not always that easy, is it? According to the Centers for Disease Control, only one in three American adults gets the recommended minimum seven hours sleep.

Fortunately, there are strategies that can help. Here, both day- and night-time strategies to banish insomnia and help you sleep more deeply.

Daytime Sleep Strategies

It’s not just what you do at bedtime that affects your sleep; there are strategies you can use all day long to make sure you’re relaxed and tired by the time your head hits the pillow.

1. Go to bed and wake up at around the same time each day, even on weekends.

2. If you must nap during the day, nap at least 4 hours before your bedtime and for no longer than 20 minutes.

3. Drink most of your fluids earlier in the day to avoid waking up to go to the bathroom during the night.

4. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. If you drink coffee or tea, try to do it before noon.

5. Check the fine print on your medications; some interfere with sleep. If possible, take such medications early in the day.

6. Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at least 3 times a week. Be sure to exercise at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

Bedtime Sleep Strategies

7. Don’t use your bedroom as a study or for watching TV; keep it a sanctuary for sleep – and sex

8. If you cannot fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed, do something relaxing until you feel tired. Read a book, listen to music, use guided imagery, or enjoy a warm bath.

9. Avoid using your smart phone, computer or watching TV one hour prior to bedtime.

10. Practice good sleep hygiene. Make sure your room is quiet and dark and choose bedding that’s soft and comfortable.

11. Skip bedtime snacks or have only a light snack 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.

12. Do things in the evening that relax you, such as getting together with friends, taking a warm bath, or reading a book. Try to avoid stress before bedtime.

Even if you only make a few of these changes to your routine, you should see some improvement.

Melanie Haiken writes about health, wellness and fitness for national magazines and websites. She specializes in discovering and reporting the latest research on diet, nutrition, fitness, weight loss and other health-related topics. Her award-winning stories have appeared in Fitness, Shape, Health, Forbes, and other respected magazines. She also contributes health stories to numerous Kaiser Permanente newsletters and other publications.