1. Establish a regular sleep schedule and try to stick to it, even on weekends.
2. If you nap during the day, limit it to 20 or 30 minutes, preferably early in the afternoon.
3. Avoid alcohol in the evening, as it can disrupt sleep.
4. Don’t eat a big meal just before bedtime, but don’t go to bed hungry, either. Eat a light snack before bed, if needed, preferably one high in carbohydrates.
5. If you use medications that are stimulants, take them in the morning, or ask your doctor if you can switch to a nonstimulating alternative. If you use drugs that cause drowsiness, take them in the evening.
6. Get regular exercise during the day, but avoid vigorous exercise within three hours of bedtime.
7. If pressing thoughts interfere with falling asleep, write them down (keep a pad and pen next to the bed) and try to forget about them until morning.
8. If you are frequently awakened by a need to use the bathroom, cut down on how much you drink late in the day.
9. If you smoke, quit. Among other hazards, nicotine is a stimulant and can causenightmares.
10. Avoid beverages and foods containing caffeine after 3 p.m. Even decaf versions have some caffeine, which can bother some people.