U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Tip: Setting Yourself Up for Better Sleep

Watch naps and caffeine

(HealthDay News) -- Allowing your mind and body to relax before bed helps prepare you for a better night's sleep.

The Harvard Medical School advises:

  • Avoid any sleep-disrupting things, such as alcohol, caffeine or nicotine. Make sure dinner is light and early. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but cut back before bed.
  • Design a bedroom that is cool, dark and quiet. Create a nightly bedtime routine that is soothing and relaxing (no work, no screens).
  • Don't go to bed until you are truly tired. If you wake in the middle of the night, turn your clock around so you can't see it. If you can't fall asleep, get up after about 20 minutes and do something relaxing.
  • Get the most out of your morning by going outside for exposure to natural light and exercise. If you take a nap (though it's better not to), make sure it's not too close to bedtime.
  • Set consistent times for bed and waking.

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