Your bedroom should be safe, dark, quiet, and your bed comfortable.
Use you bed and bedroom only for sleep and sex and not for office work, TV, or reading.
Use earplugs and eye mask if necessary
Sleep in the same room and bed every night; try not to fall asleep on the couch and then move to the bedroom
15-30 minute naps during the day are fine, but longer than that can disrupt your sleep cycle
Develop a sleep ritual, a certain routine you follow every night.
Set regular bedtime and wake times. Your wake time shouldn’t vary by more than one hour, seven days a week. Avoid sleeping in on weekends
A 30-minute hot bath 2 hours before retiring will improve deep sleep.
Exercise improves deep sleep.
Avoid stimulation or anxiety-provoking work before bed, including paying bills or “important” conversations.
Avoid bright lights, TV, computer, pad, or smart phone screens 1/2 hour before bed.
Face clocks away from you so you don’t clock watch,
If you have trouble getting out of bed, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room.
Avoid alcohol within 5 hours of bedtime. It can put you to sleep but causes middle-of-night awakening.
Avoid nicotine, a frequent cause of sleep problems.
Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate) after noon.
The best bedtime snack is oatmeal and milk, for the complex carbs and tryptophan
If you lie awake for more than 15 minutes, get up, sit in a chair and read with a dim light until you are tired, then go back to bed
Medications can be stimulating or sleep-inducing, so time them appropriately.
Prescription sleep medications are to be used only as needed and only for several weeks, otherwise they cause tolerance and dependence.
Melatonin 0.5 mg at 6 pm helps to re-set your sleep cycle.
Focusing on abdominal breathing (lengthening the exhalations and progressive muscle relaxation can help you fall asleep. Meditating 15-20 minutes sitting up, not in bed, can be a healthy part of your sleep ritual. Some people may be energized, however.
Clear your airway. Use a sedating cold or allergy medication if needed.
Anticholinergic drugs used chronically cause brain damage (smaller brains, early Alzheimer’s, poor memory and executive functioning). These include Tylenol PM, Benadryl, Claritin, Dimetapp, Paxil, Xanax and other benzodiazepines.
Apps for sleep can be helpful, such as Pzizz, Calm, and Headspace. Jody Whiteley’s Sleep Hypnosis on YouTube is excellent. You can purchase sleep headphones on Amazon.
Sleepbot and Sleep Cycle Apps give you feedback on how you are sleeping.
This article will give you good reasons not to take pills for sleep: mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/02/20/dementia-linked-to-benzodiazepines-sleeping-pills-anticholinergics/
For additional information and guidance, please check out Tuck Sleep