Expert Sleep Advice

Personal Habits
• Create a bedtime schedule that you can keep routinely and consistently
• Avoid naps, especially in the afternoons! If you need a nap, consider a power nap that is limited to 20-30 minutes.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine 4-6 hours before bed
• Exercise regularly- particularly in the afternoon, but not within 2-4 hours of going to bed.
• If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring in a dimly lit environment until you feel sleepy
• If you have trouble falling asleep, consider practicing sleep techniques. For the range of relaxation options (audio recordings of relaxation techniques), click here. For the sensing scan, click here. For the sleep technique, click here.

The Sleeping Environment
• Make your bed comfortable
• Lower the temperature in your room and block out distracting noise
• Reserve your bed for sleep and sex only
• Eliminate the use of tv, studying, movies, reading, etc. in bed.

Getting ready for bed
• Practice relaxation techniques before bed 
• Establish a pre-sleep ritual/routine
• Take a hot bath/shower 90 minutes before bed

Resources
Sleep Hygiene Suggestions from the American Medical Association
General Sleep Hygiene Guidelines
Additional Sleep Hygiene Guidelines
CDC- Sleep Hygiene Guidelines
Definition and Symptoms of Insomnia- Mayo Clinic

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