Daytime habits for a better sleep at night
1) Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day (try not to vary time by > 30 minutes). This will help set your body’s internal clock.
2. Avoid sleeping in: It is okay to catch up on sleep by sleeping 30-60 minutes later on week-ends, but more than this will lead to social jet lag similar to when you travel across time zones.
3. Avoid late napping: A short power nap during the day can help reduce fatigue, but longer naps (>30 minutes) later in the day (after 3pm) may affect your ability to fall asleep at night.
4. Fight after dinner drowsiness: People are tired and may fall asleep on the couch after dinner. If this happens, get up and move around or do light work to avoid falling asleep.
Keep in sync with your body's natural sleep-wake rhythm
5. Sunlight and sleep: Today most of our work is indoors and very little time is spent outdoors.
Natural sunlight will help improve alertness and set your clock, so that you sleep better at night. Have your morning coffee outside, do outdoor gardening, walk to work and keep your windows open
Stay physically and socially active during the day
1. Vigorous exercise will produce deeper and more restful sleep, but even light exercise like walking 20 minutes a day will show benefit. (link to physical activity and exercise guidelines)
2. Be patient. It may take several months to see full sleep benefits of exercise.
3. Try to exercise in the morning or evening. Exercising too close (3-4 hours) to bedtime can disturb your sleep. Gentle yoga and stretching before bedtime is okay.
People who exercise regularly sleep better at night.
4. Social connection and activities is important, especially for older people. Get together with your friends for walking, yoga, playing cards or just to have a cup of coffee or tea.
Follow a structured routine
Some variability in routine can be expected day to day, but try to maintain consistency in when you take a bath, eat your meals, exercise, work and sleep