Lifestyle Tips for Better Sleep
What's best, experts agree, is taking steps to reduce stress and create a good sleep environment.
Some tips for a good night's sleep:
Keep noise and light to a minimum. Use earplugs, window blinds, heavy curtains, or an eye mask. Small night-lights in your bedroom and bathroom are a good idea.
Avoid large meals two hours before bedtime. A light snack is fine.
Don't drink caffeine (including tea and soft drinks) four to six hours before bedtime.
Regular exercise like walking will reduce stress hormones and help you sleep better. But don't exercise within two hours of bedtime. You may have more difficulty falling asleep.
Don't nap late in the afternoon.
Stop working on any task an hour before bedtime to calm your brain.
Don't discuss emotional issues right before bedtime.
Keep pets outside your sleeping area if you can.
Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature.
Learn a relaxation technique like meditation or progressive relaxation.
Another idea: "If you can't sleep because of pain, I advise Tylenol before bedtime," Plank says. "Especially in the senior population, this can be helpful. Many people toss and turn from aches and pains."