3. Pick up good habits
Good sleep hygiene incorporates a long list of habits such as avoiding heavy foods before bed and not exercising close to bedtime. But over time, experts have placed more emphasis on certain habits from the list and less on others. In addition to avoiding light exposure before bed, having a thoroughly dark room is critical, says Cathy Risdon, a professor in McMaster University’s department of family medicine, adding: “I think very few people achieve that in their sleep environment.” Blackout curtains or eye masks often do the trick.
It’s also important to shun caffeine after about 3 p.m. (if not sooner), since it takes a long time to leave your system. Also key: Keep your room cool. In fact, even reconsider a pre-bedtime bath; it may heat up your body, making it harder to sleep. Your bedroom should also be quiet. The low, constant sound of a fan might help to block out noises that could disturb your sleep, or you could invest in a white noise machine.