Annual Sleep in America Poll Exploring Connections with Communications Technology Use and Sleep

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Date:
Monday, March 7, 2011

drive drowsy once or twice a week.

"If you're having problems sleeping at night, or if you're feeling too sleepy the next day, take a look at your bedtime habits," says Allison Harvey, PhD, behavioral sleep expert at UC Berkeley. "Create a relaxing wind-down routine and turn down the lights. Make your bedroom a sanctuary from the worries of your day."

Healthy Sleep Advice
If you are having problems sleeping, the National Sleep Foundation suggests the following to improve your sleep:

  • Set and stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.
  • Expose yourself to bright light in the morning and avoid it at night. Exposure to bright morning light energizes us and prepares us for a productive day. Alternatively, dim your lights when it's close to bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise in the morning can help you get the light exposure you need to set your biological clock. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime if you are having problems sleeping.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Allow enough time to wind down and relax before going to bed.
  • Create a cool, comfortable sleep environment that is free of distractions. If you're finding that entertainment or work-related communications are creating anxiety, remove these distractions from your bedroom.
  • Treat your bed as your sanctuary from the stresses of the day. If you find yourself still lying awake after 20 minutes or so, get up and do something relaxing in dim light until you are sleepy.
  • Keep a "worry book" next to your bed. If you wake up because of worries, write them down with an action plan, and forget about them until morning.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages, chocolate and tobacco at night.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages right before bedtime.
  • No nightcaps. Drinking alcohol before bed can rob you of deep sleep and can cause you to wake up too early.
  • Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medications might be contributing to your sleep problem.
  • No late-afternoon or evening naps, unless you