Your sleeping area, along with what you do during the day, can affect how well you sleep. Too much noise, light, or activity in your bedroom can make sleeping harder. Create a quiet, comfortable area that’s only for sleeping – meaning no TV, email or snacking.

Improve your sleep with these simple tips:

  1. Try to not use technology devices such as smartphones, computers, or tablets during the hours before bedtime. The light from these devices, and the emotions that can result from checking email or social media sites, can make it harder to unwind and fall asleep.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. You might want to take a warm shower or bath, listen to soothing music, or drink a cup of non-caffeinated, herbal tea (try chamomile or peppermint). This will help your body get used to a sleeping schedule.
  3. Go to bed at the same time every night – and get up at the same time every morning, even if you feel tired.
  4. Use a sleep mask and earplugs if light and noise bother you.
  5. Get regular exercise. Figure out what time of day works best for your sleep patterns.
  6. Get outside during daylight hours. Spending time in sunlight helps to reset your body’s sleep and wake cycles.
  7. Don’t drink liquids after 6 p.m. If you wake up often to go to the bathroom, limiting what you drink at night could help you sleep for longer stretches of time.
  8. Limit caffeine (coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas) during the day. Don’t have any for at least four to six hours before bedtime.
  9. Try a sleep-inducing snack: yogurt with bananas, apple with string cheese, or peanut butter with whole-grain crackers.

Talk to your doctor if you’re having problems sleeping. They can help determine if you might benefit from seeing a sleep specialist.