Sleep is important for your physical and emotional health. Sleep
can help you stay healthy by keeping your immune system strong. Getting enough
sleep can help your mood and make you feel less stressed.
all have trouble sleeping sometimes. This can be for many reasons. You may have
trouble sleeping because of
or fatigue. If you feel
anxious or have
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may also have
trouble falling or staying asleep.
Whatever the cause, there are
things you can do.
Your sleeping area
Your sleeping area and what you
do during the day can affect how well you sleep. Too much noise, light, or
activity in your bedroom can make sleeping harder. Creating a quiet,
comfortable sleeping area can help. Here are some things you can do to sleep
- Use your bedroom only for sleeping and
- Move the TV and radio out of your bedroom.
- Try not to use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to compute, text, or use the Internet while you are in bed.
your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool. Use curtains or blinds to block out light.
Consider using soothing music or a "white noise" machine to block out
Your evening and bedtime routine
Having an evening routine and a set bedtime will
help your body get used to a sleeping schedule. You may want to ask others in
your household to help you with your routine.
- Get regular exercise but not within 3 or 4
hours before your bedtime.
- Try to not use technology devices such as smartphones, computers, or tablets during the hours before bedtime. The light from these devices and the emotions that can result from checking email or social media sites can make it harder to unwind and fall asleep.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. You
might want to take a warm shower or bath, listen to soothing music, or drink a
cup of noncaffeinated tea.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
And get up at the same time every morning, even if you feel
- Use a sleep mask and earplugs, if light and noise bother
If you can't sleep
- Get up and do a quiet or boring activity until you feel
- Imagine yourself in a peaceful, pleasant
scene. Focus on the details and feelings of being in a place that is
- Don't drink any liquids after 6 p.m. if you wake up often
because you have to go to the bathroom.
Your activities during the day
Your habits and activities can affect how well you
sleep. Here are some tips.
- Exercise, but not within 3 to 4 hours of your bedtime because it may be harder to fall asleep.
- Get outside during
daylight hours. Spending time in sunlight helps to reset your body's sleep and
- Limit caffeine (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas) during the day. And don't have any for at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
- Don't drink alcohol
before bedtime. Alcohol can cause you to wake up more often during the
- Don't smoke or use tobacco, especially in the evening.
Nicotine can keep you awake.
- Don't take naps during the day,
especially close to bedtime.
- Don't take medicine that may keep you
awake, or make you feel hyper or energized, right before bed. Your doctor can
tell you if your medicine may do this and if you can take it earlier in the
If you can't sleep because you are in great pain or have
an injury, or you often feel anxious at night, or you often have bad dreams or
nightmares, talk with your doctor.
- Sleep and Your Body Clock
- Sleep Problems, Age 12 and Older
|By: ||Healthwise Staff ||Current as of: November 18, 2013|
|Medical Review: ||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry