Our sleep habits have a significant impact on how well we sleep every night. If you are able to maintain a regular schedule while also avoiding behavior that promotes sleep disruption, you can minimize insomnia, allow for an adequate amount of sleep and reduce sleep-related headaches. If you are ready to take charge of your sleep patterns to help you wake up feeling refreshed, here are some tips to follow.

If you’re tired, go to bed.  When it comes to sleep, go to bed when you are sleepy and not any earlier. If you attempt to go to bed before you are tired you will promote lying awake in bed, which can teach the brain to remain awake in bed. It is also important to make sure you go to sleep only in bed. By sleeping in other locations at home you might make it more difficult to sleep in your own bed.

Wake up at the same time. When you wake up refreshed, get up. Don’t linger in bed for too long. It is also important to try to wake up at the same time every day, seven days a week. By maintaining a regular wake up time it will help you fall asleep more easily at night in addition to helping you set your “internal clock.” 

The bedroom is for sleeping. It is important to use the bedroom only for sleeping and sexual activity. This means you should avoid reading, watching TV, eating and talking on the phone in bed. You should also avoid lying awake thinking in bed. Do your problem solving elsewhere.

Exercise daily. Regular daily exercise may help to deepen your sleep. By exercising too close to bedtime, you may disturb sleep. Try to finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime or in the morning before you start your day. 

Don’t go to bed hungry. With daily exercising you will be burning more calories, which means you might get hungry frequently. To combat this, eat a snack! Going to bed hungry can ultimately prevent you from falling asleep. By having a light snack at bedtime you may find that you sleep better. However, avoid having a big meal before bed—stomach and intestinal activity slows down and food is not well digested during sleep. 

Skip alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol might help some people fall asleep at the start of the night, but that sleep will become fragmented, which means you won’t feel well rested. Occasional social use of alcohol in moderate amounts is fine for most people, but regular use or large quantities of drinking may be a significant problem for sleep. Additionally, tobacco of any kind disrupts sleep, so avoid it at all costs. 

A good night’s sleep can make all the difference in your day–especially when sleep apnea is part of the equation. Visit Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about proper  sleep habits and available treatment for combating sleep apnea.