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Insomnia - "Sleep Hygiene"

The following recommendations can help promote restful sleep:

  • Sleep only as long as needed to feel refreshed during the entire wake period (usually 7 to 9 hours/night for adults)

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule, do not vary more than an hour; also do not vary on weekends

  • Do not drink caffeine after noon, or at least 6 hours before bedtime; minimize daytime use

  • Do not smoke, especially close to bedtime or if you awaken during the night

  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals in the late evening before sleep

  • Exercise regularly but avoid vigorous exercise within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime

  • Minimize noise, light, and excessively hot and cold temperatures where you sleep. Ideally, keep bedroom at 64 degrees

  • Avoid television, computer use, and reading in bed, especially if you awaken in the middle of the night

  • Have regular “decompression time” at least a half hour to an hour before bedtime to relax and “prepare for sleep”; consider:

    • Taking a hot bath before retiring

    • Drinking hot Sleepytime tea, Chamomile, or other herbal teas

  • Avoid upsetting or worrisome thoughts while going to sleep; concentrate on a pleasant, relaxing activity. Create a “movie in your mind,” with yourself participating in an activity such as playing your favorite golf course

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