The Cleveland Clinic

Sleep Disorders: Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

There are many simple steps you can take to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep . Here are some tips:

  • Minimize noise with earplugs and minimize light with window blinds, heavy curtains, or an eye mask.
  • Do not turn on bright lights if you need to get up at night. Use a small night-light instead.
  • Avoid eating within two hours of bedtime. If you are hungry, a glass of milk or a light snack is a good choice. Milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which has been shown in research to help people go to sleep.
  • Avoid consuming protein at bedtime.
  • Get aerobic exercise during the day to reduce stress hormones, but avoid anything too strenuous within three hours of bedtime. Regular exercise may promote deeper sleep. Go to bed at a regular time and avoid napping late in the afternoon. If you need to nap, take a brief nap for 10-15 minutes about eight hours after you awake.
  • Stop working at any task an hour before bedtime to calm mental activity.
  • At bedtime, keep your mind off worries or things that upset you; avoid discussing emotional issues in bed.
  • Consider having pets stay outside of your sleeping area. Having a pet in bed with you may cause you to wake if you have allergies or if the pet moves around on the bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and a comfortable temperature (below 75F and above 54F).
  • Keep your bedroom for sleeping.
  • If you can't sleep or if you wake up in the middle of the night, go into another room and read a book or watch television until you feel sleepy.
  • Learn a relaxation technique such as progressive muscle relaxation and practice it in bed.

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