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Your Sleep Checklist

Getting a good night's rest is good for your body and your mind. Use this checklist to wake up in the morning refreshed:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine to get your body and mind ready to sleep.
  • Make your bedroom dark, quiet, cool, and comfortable.
  • Skip caffeinated beverages within 6 to 8 hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid eating big meals close to bedtime -- especially spicy foods, which may cause heartburn.
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes each day, but try to do it at least 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Can't sleep? Read or listen to soft music. Skip the TV, tablet, and smartphone.
  • Start a sleep diary to track what affects your rest.
  • Move the computer and TV out of your bedroom so they don't distract you. Don't just swap in your tablet or phone -- their lights and distractions can keep you up late.
  • Make it a priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • If you nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and not close to bedtime. Late-day naps can lead to sleepless nights.
  • Finish that glass of wine at least 3 hours before bed so it doesn't wake you up later.
  • Consider moving your pet out of your bed, and maybe out of your bedroom.
  • Wear sunscreen and spend time in the sunlight. But avoid bright lights close to bedtime.
  • If you still can't sleep well after doing all of these things, talk to your doctor about your next steps.

Recommended Related to Sleep Disorders

How to Sleep With a Snorer

By Ellie McGrath Love can be blind and, for a while, even deaf. I was somewhat aware that my husband-to-be had a snoring problem, but I didn't realize the extent until a friend he had traveled with presented us with an unusual wedding present: a black collar studded with little electrodes. Whenever my husband snored, he'd get a harmless electric shock that would wake him him up — with the goal of conditioning him to stop snoring altogether. After a few nights, though, my husband called for...

Read the How to Sleep With a Snorer article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on October 22, 2014

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