To ensure a good night’s sleep, there are several things you can do that is commonly referred to as good sleep hygiene.
1. Use Your Bed Only for Sleep or Sex. Naturopath Dr. JJ Dugoa suggests that you avoid eating and watching TV in bed, as it can make it harder to associate your bed with sleep.
2. Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine, And Alcohol. These should be avoided mainly in the afternoon or early evening. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and they can make it hard to get to sleep. And while I find that alcohol helps me fall asleep, it is has been known to disrupt sleep in the early morning hours.
3. Exercise. You know the days when the kids run around so much that you just know that they'll sleep well? Well, the same applies to you! Exercise can help tire the body out, but you should schedule your workouts at least three hours before it’s time for bed. That gives your body time to wind down and relax.
4. Create Your Routine. Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. This will help to reinforce your brain’s notion of when it’s time to sleep, and time to wake. One piece of advice that my naturopath gave me was to go to bed by 10pm and be up by 7am at the latest. Turn the lights down and then off to signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. Also, many parents try giving their babies a warm bath to relax them and get them ready for bed.
5. Keep your bedroom a little cooler at night. I know I like to feel the weight of the blankets on top of me.
6. Keep your room dark. You shouldn’t be able to see your hand in front of your face.
7. Some people are sensitive to electronic devices particularly EMF's, so keep stereo’s, computers and TV’s out of the bedroom.
8. Journal- write down your thoughts and empty your mind before you go to bed. I find that if my mind is racing with a list of things that I need to do, or incredible ideas I have, I write it down. It helps to free my mind, so I don’t feel like I have to study it to make sure I remember it the next morning.