Proven behaviors to help you sleep

As humans, we spend about one-third of our lives asleep. Though science has taught us about the human brain’s exquisite control of our daily sleep and wake patterns, tens of millions of Americans still don’t get the sleep they need. Nearly 20% of American adults report using a sleep medication to help them sleep, despite known side effects and information about how well they really work. Some people turn to alcohol for relief. And many have tried everything without relief.

Whether your problem is experiencing lack of quality sleep, feeling sleepy during the day, or not being able to get the seven to nine hours of sleep each night that most people need, first ask yourself,
“What habits can I change to improve my sleep?”

Do you have good sleep hygiene? In general, sleep hygiene refers to practicing behaviors that promote sleep and stopping behaviors that are bad for sleep:

Nighttime tips to help with sleep

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule
  • Go to bed when you are sleepy
  • Avoid electronics before bedtime
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment
  • Use your bed for sleep and sex only

Daytime tips to help with sleep

  • Avoid and limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
  • Eat well and exercise
  • Treat health problems that interfere with sleep