Say ‘Goodbye’ to groggy and crabby days.
Improve your night-time sleep.
Avoid daytime sleepiness.

1. Get adequate night-time sleep.

That sounds obvious, right? But do YOU grab an hour or two of sleep time in the morning or at night to do other things? Be determined.  Block out eight or nine hours for sleep every night.

2. Keep distractions out of bed.

Don’t read, watch TV, play video games, or use laptop computers in bed. Don’t do your paperwork or have heated discussions in bed either. These may leave you sleepless so avoid them.

3. Set a consistent wake-up time.

Start your new habits by setting a wake-up time and stay with it for the first few weeks or even months to establish a rhythm. This regular ‘getting up’ time helps anchor the circadian rhythm. Even if you still have a bad night, you’ll also to be sleepier by bedtime.

4. Gradually move to an earlier bedtime.

Gradually adjust your ‘going to bed’ schedule by retiring 15 minutes earlier each night for four nights. Then make that earlier hour your target. thi sapproach is more likely to succeed than suddenly trying to go to sleep an hour earlier.

5. Set consistent, healthy meal-times.

Regular meal-times also help regulate the circadian rhythms. Have a healthy breakfast and lunch on time prevents energy deficits during the day that cause sleepiness during the day, rather than at night-time. Plan to finish eating meals two to three hours before bedtime.

6. Exercise.

Regular exercise (30 minutes a day on most days) makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. Exercise also gives you more daytime energy and keeps your thinking sharp. 30 minutes of exposure to sunlight a day helps regulate sleep patterns, too.

7. De-clutter your schedule.

Eliminate tasks that aren’t really important and plan those that are so that you can give yourself the time for sleep.

8. Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy.

Go to bed when you’re sleepy — eyes droopy, you’re drowsy, you feel like you’re nodding off. It’s different from just feeling tired.

9. Don’t nap late in the day.

Late afternoon napping can interfere with night-time sleep.

10. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual.

A relaxation routine before bedtime can help you separate yourself from the energies – sometimes stressful and worrying – of the day. Meditation, soaking in a hot bath, listening to soothing music, or reading a book along with a cup of herbal tea or warm milk (unless the additional fluid wakes at night to go to the bathroom).

11. Avoid “nightcaps.”

People often think that alcohol helps sleep, but it actually robs you of deep sleep, which is essential for feeling well rested. When the effects of alcohol wear off during the night, you’ll probably be wide awake again.

12. See a sleep specialist.

If you are excessively sleepy consistently during the day even when you sleep well or if you fall asleep without warning during daily activities, you may have a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, a breathing problem that occurs during sleep. Problem sleepiness can also be caused by certain illnesses and medications. And mental conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety are very commonly linked to sleep problems.

A sleep specialist can design a treatment programme for you that treats the underlying sleep disorder and helps you develop better sleep habits and attitudes through cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. It’s worth a try and your brain and memory will thank you for it.

Take the Sleep Quiz   Check out Why Can’t I Sleep?