Sleep

  • Sleep only as long as is necessary to feel restored and refreshed during the following day. Limit the time in bed and keep it regular to solidify sleep. Extending bed time or keeping an irregular schedule results in fragmented or shallow sleep.

  • Keep a regular arising time which strengthens circadian cycling and leads to regular times of sleep onset.

  • Engage in a steady, daily amount of exercise which deepens sleep and should be scheduled at least four hours before the sleep period.

  • Avoid heavy meals before the sleep period as they disturb sleep; a light snack may be helpful.

  • As light, noise and temperature fluctuations disturb sleep, you should dim the light and keep sound to a minimum in the bedroom as much as possible, as well as keep the room at a constant temperature of about 70° F.

  • All recreational drugs affect sleep. Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and marijuana use should be curtailed or, preferably, eliminated.

  • If it takes longer than 20 minutes to fall asleep, either at sleep onset or following an awakening, do not "work" at getting to sleep. Arise and do something until you feel drowsy and then return to bed.

  • The bedroom is to be used only for romantic purposes or sleeping. Taking work to bed, watching TV or listening to the radio usually causes arousal which directly delays sleep onset. These activities condition you unconsciously to associate the bedroom with wakefulness rather than what is desired-sleepiness.