General Tips for Good Night’s Sleep
- Regular sleep and wake times synchronizes the body rhythms - those who establish sleep-wake routines generally sleep better at night and feel sharper during the daytime.
- Establish regular hours - a regular routine is the single most effective way to keep your body rhythms in tune.
- Create enjoyable pre-sleep rituals as follows:
- Exercise for at least twenty minutes, about three to six hours before bedtime - vigorous exercise raises body temperature. The decline in body temperature that occurs after exercise sends a strong signal to the brain that helps to induce sleep a few hours later. In addition, physical activities generally improve sleep quality.
- Take a hot bath two to three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine within four or five hours before bedtime - even if caffeine does not interfere with falling asleep, it tends to make sleep more restless.
- Avoid both alcohol and nicotine near bedtime - alcohol may initially make you drowsy, however, once that effect wears off, it will disrupt sleep. Nicotine is a stimulant.
- Read a novel (not the leftover work from your office), listen to candlelight music, and have a cookie and milk before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet and dark.
Preparing for anticipated Sleep Loss(such as travelling or shift work)
- Take a nap ahead of time - if possible, get some extra sleep for a few nights beforehand. For example, if you take a nap before your night shift you will feel more alert through the shift.
- Get as much sleep as you can during your regular sleep time. Even a little sleep is better than none at all.
- If you regularly work long irregular hours, try to fit a nap into your schedule.
Tips for Coping After Missing Sleep
- Excercise - an active body produces an active brain. In the office, go for a walk occasionally.
- Eat lightly - avoid alcohol and carbohydrate foods.
- Take a nap - but avoid doing so after dinner as it will interfere with your sleep at night.
- Drink caffeinated beverages judiciously - if you normally drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee, then only take 1 when you really need to. People who regularly consume large amount of caffeine become habituated and do not get much of a boost from additional caffeine.
- Go to bed 1 to 2 hours earlier than usual.