Your Good Sleep Checklist

So we know sleep is good for us, but not always so easy to achieve. Here are a few tips that may help.

Picture of woman sleeping peacefully in bed
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleep loves routine whatever your age.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Sleep loves routine whatever your age.

Create a relaxing bedtime routine to get your body and mind ready to sleep. This is “wind down” time.

Make your bedroom dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable. Use black out blinds or a  Sleep Mask to cover your eyes.

Try taking melatonin.

Skip caffeinated beverages within 6 to 8 hours of going to bed.

Avoid eating big meals close to bedtime, especially spicy foods, which may cause heartburn so  finish eating two to three hours before going to bed.

Exercise at least 20 minutes each day but try to do it at least 6 hours before bedtime.

If you can’t , read or listen to soft music. Skip the TV, tablet, and smartphone. Use a sound machine, or other type of white noise device, to block out unwanted sounds.

Start a sleep diary to track what affects your rest.

Move the computer and TV out of your bedroom so they don’t distract you. Don’t just swap in your tablet or phone — their lights and distractions can keep you up late.

Make it a priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Picture of child sleeping peacefully
Wind down before bedtime

If you nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and not close to bedtime. Late-day naps can lead to sleepless nights.

Finish that glass of wine or beer at least 3 hours before bed so it doesn’t wake you up later. Alcohol is notorious for sleep pattern disruption although it seems an ideal nightcap, alas it isn’t.

Consider moving your pet out of your bed, and maybe out of your bedroom.

Wear sunscreen but spend time in the sunlight. Avoid bright lights close to bedtime.(Blue is worse than red)

If you still can’t sleep well after doing all of these things, talk to your doctor about your next steps.

Do not watch TV or use the computer in bed. Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including getting regular and quality sleep, can be a challenge, especially when you are stressed with a work deadline or test.

Remember sleep is your friend. An adequate amount of quality sleep will help you live your life to its best, both in health and length of life.

Dr. Stephen Bray

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