Building Your Sleep Environment

One of the most important aspects to getting adequate sleep is to create a sleep environment free from distractions. Similarly, your body needs to be prepared for sleep, meaning that both you brain and muscle activity need to be slowed down.

Along with making sure that you sleep in comfortable surroundings, eliminate objects that provide stimulus to the brain. Other steps to getting good sleep include:

  • Exercise early: Intense physical activity later in the day provides too much stimulation in the evening.
  • Maintain consistency: Keep a regular schedule both on weekdays and weekends to get your body used to a routing.
  • Perform rituals: Develop relaxation techniques before bedtime that you associate with resting, such as drinking a cup of hot tea and reading a book.
  • Restrict food, alcohol and caffeine before bed: Each of these stimulates physical and/or mental activity, making it harder for you to get to sleep.
  • Save worrying for the next day: Most problems cannot be solved while you're asleep. Try to put stressful thoughts aside. If you have trouble doing this, consider writing down your worries in a diary. This is a good way to process these thoughts and release them for a while.

If you still have trouble falling asleep, try taking a hot bath about an hour before bedtime. This forces your body to reduce its temperature and may help you enter sleep more efficiently. If in bed lying restlessly, don't stay in bed tossing and turning. Move around, read a book and try to create the right mood for a full night time of restorative rest.