Article date: February 16, 2016
By Stacy Simon
Are you getting enough sleep at night? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 70 million Americans have sleep problems that keep them awake when they want to sleep, and lead to drowsiness when they want to be alert.
The NIH says adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well-rested, but that most people get less than that. They recommend these tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Go to sleep at the same time each night, get up at the same time each morning, and avoid naps after 3pm.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day. Avoid nicotine completely.
- Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day, but a light snack before bedtime is OK.
- Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.
- Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep.
- Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
- See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.