7 Ways To Improve Your Sleeping Habits

People usually have trouble both falling asleep and staying asleep and may experience extreme sleepiness during the day. The cause is unknown but not medically serious. You might try to avoid them by improving sleep habits
by Dr. Stella de Dios, MD   |  May 30, 2010
photo courtesy of The CW/Tv Entertainment Networks (Gossip Girl)
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  1. Avoiding caffeine
    (a stimulant found in coffee, soda, iced tea, chocolate, and various over-the-counter medications) 4-6 hours before bedtime.
  2. Avoiding nicotine.
    Especially when it's near your bedtime or when you wake up during the night. Having a smoke before bed is actually putting a stimulant into your bloodstream. Better yet, quit smoking!
  3. Alcohol is a depressant and although it may make it easier for you to fall asleep, it also causes you to wake up at night, and may cause nightmares.
  4. A light snack may be sleep inducing, but taking a heavy meal right before bedtime interferes with sleep.
    Skim milk and a low-fat snack may be a good night time treat.
  5. You may not want to exercise vigorously just before bed.
    It may be best to exercise late in the afternoon. Still, some studies have shown that exercise right before bed is not as bad as was once thought-unless you are the type of person who becomes more alert with exercise.
  6. Minimize noise, light, and excessive cold, or hot temperature during sleep.
  7. Set the mood for relaxation before bed.
    This is not a time to be rushing about or planning the following day's events.  Accomplish this earlier in the evening.
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Dr. Stella de Dios, MD
Physician
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