How can I get enough sleep?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is one of the most important steps you can take to a healthier you. It’s an integral body process that helps heal, restore, and protect our bodily systems and vital organs. Yet, as many as 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder of some sort and aren’t getting enough ZZZs.

If you have trouble falling asleep, it may indicate a problem with your daily schedule. Set a sleep schedule that works for you and stick to it, even on the weekends. Cut all caffeine 4-6 hours before bed, stop eating 2-3 hours before bed, dim the lights and turn off all electronics about an hour before bedtime to release the brain chemicals necessary for a good nights sleep, and wake up at the same time every morning. This type of schedule will keep your internal clock regular and make falling asleep naturally easier.

Some other tips? Set yourself up for sleep success by making sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool—the ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees F. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. That means moving the TV and the telephone out of the bedroom. And finally, no matter what, don’t drink alcohol before bed. Even though a glass of red wine might seem like snooze inducer, in small quantities alcohol is actually a stimulant. Plus, the metabolism of alcohol interferes with your normal sleep cycle and can cause you to wake up throughout the night.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.