Fourteen Tips for Better Sleep

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1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Even if you have trouble falling asleep the night before, try to wake up at the same time. This helps maintain your body's natural sleep cycle.

2. Reserve your bed for sleep only.  Do not study on your bed.

3. Exercise regularly. Exercise in moderate amounts early in the day.

4. Avoid stimulating activities ½ hour or so before bedtime.

5. Use earplugs if trying to sleep in a noisy room.

6. Create a relaxing sleep environment. Prepare your bedroom to provide maximum comfort and minimal distraction.

7. Determine your optimal amount of sleep. Systematically work toward obtaining the right amount of sleep each night.

8. Breathe deeply and stretch your body. Consider an easy nightly stretching routine that includes deep breathing as a way to relax and prepare for a good night's sleep.

9. Run a fan. White noise soothes and blocks out other background noise.

10. Keep naps short and sweet. Try to sleep enough at night that you don't need naps during the day. If you do need a quick siesta, keep it to 20 or 30 minutes, as that length of time has been shown to improve alertness. However, do not take naps during the evening.

11. Don’t drink caffeine containing beverages after dinner.

12. Don't pull all-nighters. Sleep is essential to retaining information.

13. Don’t lie awake in bed for long periods of time. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed. Write down your thoughts or do something relaxing before trying to fall back asleep again.

14. Don't compete. Everyone has different sleep needs, so encourage your friends to get what they need rather than bragging about how late you can stay awake.

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