Sleep Tips Compared

Gleaned from Popular Sources

(Mouse-over the column headings for an explanation.)

Just Before Bedtime AARP CR NSF RD WMD
Establish a regular bedtime routine (brushing teeth, etc.)      
Avoid exercise within 1 or more hours before bedtime.    
Use relaxation techniques or mediation shortly before sleep.    
Avoid caffeine or alcohol within 1 hour before bedtime.        
Avoid reading a lot before bedtime.        
During the Day AARP CR NSF RD WMD
Go to bed and get up the same time each day.    
Sleep only in your bedroom.          
Get regular, vigourous, daily exercise, preferably in the morning.  
Get adequate exposure to natural daylight, or a multispectrum light, every day.      
Avoid napping if possible.      
Food and Drink AARP CR NSF RD WMD
Avoid large meals within 1 hour of bedtime.  
Consider avoiding stimulants such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol (in small doses) for 6 (or as much as 24 hours) before bedtime.  
Avoid foods high in sugar including honey and syrup.        
Avoid drinking liquids within 1 hour of bedtime.    
Drink a cup of mild tea such as chamomile, valerian, kava, passionflower, skullcap, catnip or hops.        
Do not retire hungry.        
Eat a pre-bedtime snack rich in tryptophan such as walnuts and milk or yogurt.      
Keep as dark as possible  
Consistent temperature.          
Slightly cool. (Losing body heat brings on deep sleep.)    
Well ventilated.          
Keep the bedroom as quiet as possible.  
Use "white noise" such as a fan, air filter or a white noise device.      
Consider moving a pet to another room if it makes noise during the night.        
Avoid doing other activities such as work, watching TV or eating.    
Quality mattress as firm as possible but still comfortable, not more than 10 years old.        
Sprinkle sleep-inducing scents on pillowcases and sheets, such as lavender water, vanilla and green apple.        
If You Can't Sleep AARP CR NSF RD WMD
Don't lie awake. Go to another room to relax.        
Consider going to bed 30 minutes later than normal.        
Consider participating in cognitive therapy to control inappropriate thoughts.        

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