Staying healthy (21)
- Cosmetic surgery: What to know beforehand
- Vaccines for adults: Which do you need?
- Bone health: Tips to keep your bones healthy
- see all in Staying healthy
Dental care (7)
- Oral health: Brush up on dental care basics
- Oral health: A window to your overall health
- Calcium and calcium supplements: Achieving the right balance
- see all in Dental care
Skin care (17)
- Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options
- Sunless tanning: What you need to know
- Tattoos: Understand risks and precautions
- see all in Skin care
Nail care (1)
- Fingernails: Do's and don'ts for healthy nails
Eye care (9)
- Eye injury: Tips to protect vision
- Contact lenses: What to know before you buy
- LASIK eye surgery
- see all in Eye care
- Sleep aids: Understand over-the-counter options
- Napping: Do's and don'ts for healthy adults
- Sleep deprivation: Know the risks
- see all in Sleep
Mental health (11)
- Mental health: What's normal, what's not
- Empty nest syndrome: Tips for coping
- Friendships: Enrich your life and improve your health
- see all in Mental health
Healthy relationships (10)
- Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness
- Domestic violence against men: Know the signs
- Domestic violence against women: Recognize patterns, seek help
- see all in Healthy relationships
Healthy at work (11)
- Workplace exercises: How to burn calories at work
- Desk stretches: How-to video collection
- Office ergonomics: Your how-to guide
- see all in Healthy at work
Help yourself to better sleep with these tips
- Stick to a regular schedule. Keep your bedtime and wake time consistent from day to day, including on weekends.
- Spend a little time in the sun. Daylight is key to regulating daily sleep patterns. Try to get outside in natural sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day. If possible, wake up with the sun or use very bright lights in the morning.
- Exercise and stay active. Get at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, but make sure it's at least five to six hours before bedtime.
- Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Caffeine after lunchtime and nicotine at any time of the day can keep you from falling asleep at night. Alcohol, while it may initially make you feel sleepy, can cause frequent awakenings.
- Avoid large meals and beverages before bed. A light snack is fine, but eating too much food late in the evening can interfere with sleep. Drink less before bedtime so that you won't have to urinate as often.
- Avoid or limit naps. Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you can't get by without one, try to limit a nap to no more than 30 minutes and don't nap after 3 p.m.
When to contact your doctor
Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the sleep you need.Previous page
(2 of 2)
- Insomnia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/inso/inso_all.html. Accessed Aug. 2, 2013.
- Approach to the patient with a sleep or wakefulness disorder. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec16/ch215/ch215b.html. Accessed Aug. 2, 2013.
- Doghramji K. The evaluation and management of insomnia. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2010;31:327.
- Your guide to healthy sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/sleep/healthysleepfs.pdf. Accessed Aug. 2, 2013.
- Gordon SJ, et al. Your pillow may not guarantee a good night's sleep or symptom-free waking. Physiotherapy Canada. 2011;63:183.
- Bader GB, et al. The influence of bed firmness on sleep quality. Applied Ergonomics. 2000;31:487.