How can I plan my day to sleep better at night?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
First, ask yourself how much sleep you need every night. Most adults need between seven and nine hours each night. You may be at either end of that spectrum. Next, figure out what time you need to get up every morning during the coming week. Then count backward to determine your bedtime.

Then, create a schedule that looks something like this:
  • Morning: Wake up and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Morning-afternoon: Get some exposure to sunlight or a bright light.
  • Afternoon: Exercise four to five hours before bed, even if it's just an afternoon walk.
  • Evening: Eat dinner at least two to three hours before your bedtime, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
  • Late evening: Stop drinking anything 90 minutes before bed.
  • Night: Spend 30 to 45 minutes away from TV or computer screens quietly reading, soaking in the bathtub, or practicing yoga and meditation right before bed.
Once you have determined your ideal times for dinner, pre-sleep relaxation, and bedtime, write down a schedule. You might even set alarms in your phone for each of these activities. It takes time to establish a new habit, and in the beginning you will need tools to keep you on track. Follow the schedule diligently for at least two weeks.

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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.