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  • Answer 1/12

    You may need to try to adjust your nighttime routine if:

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    Anything you do during the day, before bed, or in your bedroom to get better sleep is called sleep hygiene. If you’re having trouble getting good rest, a few simple changes to your habits often may help. Some key points: Watch what you eat and drink, get regular exercise, and create a soothing wind-down routine to help you drift off more easily.

  • Question 1/12

    Which foods should you avoid close to bedtime?

  • Answer 1/12

    Which foods should you avoid close to bedtime?

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    If you have heartburn and indigestion, your symptoms tend to get worse when you lie down. It's smart to avoid foods that could irritate you -- including citrus, spicy foods, and anything deep-fried -- in the evening. If you still feel that burning sensation at night, try using a body pillow to prop up your head and chest. That seems to help acid move into the stomach more easily.

  • Question 1/12

    If you're going to take a nap, limit it to:

  • Answer 1/12

    If you're going to take a nap, limit it to:

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    Naps can boost your mood and make you feel more alert, which is especially important if you're going to be doing anything that could be dangerous, like driving. The catch is that you need to keep it brief. If you snooze for too long during the day, you might have trouble falling asleep at your usual time at night.

  • Question 1/12

    How long before bedtime should you cut off caffeine?

  • Answer 1/12

    How long before bedtime should you cut off caffeine?

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    It’s no surprise that coffee and other drinks that have caffeine can keep you up, but you might not realize just how long they can linger in your system. Unless you're planning to be up very late, skip the cup of coffee with dessert after dinner (or go for decaf).

  • Answer 1/12

    Drinking alcohol:

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    Booze before bed is likely to make you drowsy. (Hence the term "nightcap.") But don't be fooled: Although alcohol can sedate you, it starts to act like a stimulant as your body breaks it down. If you drink within 3 hours of bedtime, you might end up wide awake in the middle of the night -- or at least have to run to the bathroom, since alcohol also makes you need to pee more. 

  • Question 1/12

    What bedroom temperature is ideal for sleeping?

  • Answer 1/12

    What bedroom temperature is ideal for sleeping?

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    Personal preference plays some role, but experts say it’s best to snooze in a room that's cool, but not freezing. Cranking up the thermostat might feel cozy, but it can make it harder for you to fall asleep because your body temperature naturally dips as you're getting ready to drift off. Going to bed when it's too hot or too cold might also harm the quality of your rest.

  • Answer 1/12

    The best time to go to bed is:

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    If you try to force yourself to go to sleep when you're not tired, it can backfire. You'll toss, turn, and stare at the clock, which will only annoy you. Plus, it teaches your mind to associate your bed with being awake instead of resting. Instead, have a target bedtime in mind and start winding down about an hour before -- maybe take a bath, read a book, or do deep breathing. When you start to feel sleepy, it's time for lights out.

  • Answer 1/12

    On the weekends, you should:

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    Your sleep pattern should be the same no matter the day of the week. It will make it easier to fall asleep and wake up refreshed. It may even lower your odds of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

     

    The catch is that your job, family, and social life may make it hard to be that precise. A compromise: Don't sleep more than an hour later on weekends, and if you feel tired during the day, take a 20-minute nap around 2 or 3 p.m.

  • Question 1/12

    The best color for a nightlight is:

  • Answer 1/12

    The best color for a nightlight is:

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    Too much light in the evening can mess with your body's signals that it's time to sleep. The worst type is blue light, which is the kind coming out of your smartphone, LED television, laptop, and other screens. Fluorescent and LED lights have it, too.

     

    Turn off bright screens 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. If you need a nightlight, choose one with a dim red glow: That shade is the least likely to interfere with sleep.

  • Question 1/12

    In the evening, your levels of the hormone melatonin:

  • Answer 1/12

    In the evening, your levels of the hormone melatonin:

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    Your body’s clock and the light or darkness around you prompt your body to make more or less of this sleep hormone. Melatonin levels rise in the evening, stay high all night while you're sleeping, and dip when the sun comes up.

     

    You may have heard that melatonin supplements can help with insomnia. That's true for some, but it's important to take them the right way. Ask your doctor to be sure it won’t affect other medicines you take.

  • Question 1/12

    Exercise helps you sleep better, especially if you do it:

  • Answer 1/12

    Exercise helps you sleep better, especially if you do it:

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    As long as you're not doing an intense workout right before bed, almost any time of day is a good one to exercise. That said, if your primary goal is better sleep, getting a sweat session in first thing is your best move. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who work out at 7 a.m. sleep longer and more deeply than those who are active in the afternoon or evening.

  • Question 1/12

    If you wake up at night and can't fall back asleep, you should:

  • Answer 1/12

    If you wake up at night and can't fall back asleep, you should:

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    After 20 minutes, get up and out of the bedroom -- even if it's 3 a.m. Staying in bed after that point can make you more stressed. But this isn't the time to deep-clean your kitchen. Find a cozy couch or chair, and keep the lights dim while you read, knit, listen to soft music, or do anything else that relaxes you. When you start to feel sleepy again, you'll know it's time to head back to bed.

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Sources | Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on November 13, 2018 Medically Reviewed on November 13, 2018

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on
November 13, 2018

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

Thinkstock

 

Cleveland Clinic: "Why Does Your Heartburn Always Seem Worse at Night?"

 

Harvard Medical School: "Blue Light Has a Dark Side."

 

Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine: "Twelve Simple Steps to Improve Your Sleep."

 

National Sleep Foundation: "Exercise at This Time of Day for Optimal Sleep," "Is It OK to Sleep In on Weekends?" "Napping," "The Ideal Temperature for Sleep," "What is Melatonin?"

 

PreventBlindness.org: "Blue Light and Your Eyes."

 

Sleep.org: "Sleep Hygiene," "What to Do When You Can't Sleep."

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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