- Avoid alcohol and caffeine 4 to 6 hours before sleep.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool.
- Develop your nightly sleep routine that doesn’t include stressful thoughts or strenuous physical activities.
- Listen to your body and sleep when you’re tired. Don’t stress out over the occasional night when you don’t feel tired at bedtime.
- Ditch the lighted clock on your bed stand; turn it around or get a different clock.
- Use light to help you be awake during the day by taking a sun break. Keep light from screens and artificial room light to a minimum as you get closer to bedtime.
- Keep your sleep clock ticking on time by having a consistent sleep schedule.
- Nap early or don’t nap at all.
- Eat less at dinner time and finish a few hours before bedtime.
- Be careful about how much water you drink. You need enough to avoid waking up thirsty but not too much to cause waking up for a trip to the bathroom.
- Get good exercise but long before bedtime.
- Stick with the routine.
(These articles are a supplement to Virginia Gay Hospital’s bi-annual, “Thrive” Spring/Summer 2019 issue. An online version of the entire publication is available at myvgh.org/thrive)
An estimated 35% of U.S. adults get less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep they need. Moreover, poor quality sleep can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Talk to your primary health care provider about your sleep and if a home sleep study through Virginia Gay Hospital is right for you. With a home sleep study, you’ll sleep in the comfort of your bed while a small device monitors your heart rate, oxygen saturation, breathing, and chest wall movement.