Trouble sleeping: 7 Guidelines for Getting Better Sleep

Trouble sleeping? Follow these 7 guidelines for getting better sleep

William L. Golden PhD

1. Usually, avoid using your bed for wakeful activities such as reading or watching television. However, if reading or watching television has helped you to sleep in the past, you may continue to use them.

2. Lie down in bed only if you are sleepy.

3. Feel free to use relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques can help you to get into a state that is conducive to falling asleep. But, since one cannot force sleep, don’t try to use the relaxation techniques to make you go to sleep. No matter what method you use, the harder you try to go to sleep, the more you will stay awake. Just focus on feeling relaxed.

4. If you start to toss and turn in bed or get anxious, get out of the bed and go into another room. Do anything you want that is pleasurable, relaxing or constructive. Stay up until you feel sleepy and then return to the bedroom.

5. If you still have trouble sleeping, get out of the bed and repeat step 4.

6. Set your alarm and get up the same time as you normally would each morning, regardless of how much sleep you got. This will help you to develop an internal clock that will eventually lead you to feel sleepy at bedtime.

7. Do not nap during the day, as that will interfere with your development of an internal clock. Developing an internal clock will eventually lead to you getting better sleep.

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