HealthyLifeģ Students' Self-Care Guide

Table of Contents

 Section IIIĖLifestyle Issues Lifestyle

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Set Up Good Sleep Habits

bullet Plan ahead. Donít start writing a paper the night before it is due or cram for a test the night before you have it. Doing these things starts a cycle of staying up all night and never catching up on sleep.
bullet Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight exposure daily.
bullet Get regular exercise, but not within a few hours of going to bed.
bullet If you have a roommate, discuss and decide when your room will be used for studying, socializing, and sleep.
bullet If your dorm is too noisy to sleep, talk to your resident advisor and/or learn to tune out the noise in order to get to sleep. If it helps, listen to soft music with earphones when you fall asleep. Wear earplugs, if necessary.
Face in Dim light
An hour or two before
going to bed, dim the
lights in your room
bullet Make your dorm room or bedroom as comfortable as possible. Create a quiet, dark atmosphere. Keep the room temperature comfortable (neither too warm nor too cold). Donít wait longer than a week to change the sheets on your bed.
bullet Have food items rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan, such as milk, turkey, or tuna fish, before you go to bed. Eating foods with carbohydrates, such as cereal, breads, and fruits may help as well. (Do not, however, take L-tryptophan supplements.)
bullet Develop a regular bedtime routine. Brush your teeth, lock or check doors and windows, get your backpack ready for the next day, etc. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
bullet Take a long, warm bath or shower before bedtime.
bullet Read a book or do some repetitive, calm activity. Avoid distractions that may hold your attention and keep you awake, such as watching a suspenseful movie.
bullet Avoid caffeine in all forms after lunchtime. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate, colas, other soft drinks, such as Mountain Dew, and some bottled water, such as Cup of Joe.
bullet Donít take No-Doz. Avoid alcoholic beverages at dinnertime and during the rest of the evening, too. Even though alcohol is a sedative, it can disrupt sleep.
bullet Donít take over-the-counter sleeping pills or friendsí or relativesí sleeping pills. Only take sleep medicine with your health care providerís permission.
bullet Count sheep! Picturing a repeated image may bore you to sleep.

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December 08, 2005