Before relying on any supplement or chemical sleep aid, try incorporating these natural, sleep-smart strategies into your daily routine to improve your sleep hygiene:
Give your bio-clock a boost. Sunlight and exercise early in the day can help re-set your internal circadian rhythm, helping you feel more alert and awake during the daytime -- and more inclined to sleep at night.
Watch what you drink. Be mindful not to overdo on caffeine during the morning, and don’t consume caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m. Alcohol can have disruptive effects on sleep -- keep your overall consumption moderate, and don’t drink alcohol within 3 hours of your bedtime.
Stick to the routine. Studies indicate that adhering to routines throughout the day helps us sleep better at night. This includes regular times for meals and exercise, as well as regular bedtimes and wake times. Make sure your routine includes a quiet hour before your actual bedtime. This is time to “power down,” quiet your mind, and engage in some simple, relaxing rituals before bed.
Create a bedroom that promotes good sleep. Your sleep environment is critical to the quality of your sleep. Research suggests that a clean bedroom leads to a better night’s sleep. Keeping electronics out of the bedroom is also important. Maintaining a cool, dark, clean room can help you fall asleep and stay asleep with fewer interruptions.
More Answers from Michael Breus, PhD