Some general tips to improve quality and quantity of sleep:
- No caffeine after dinner time. The last coffee/tea of the day should be with dessert. This way you give yourself multiple hours to get the caffeine drug out of your system.
- Don't use your bed for anything other than sleeping. Don't study on it, don't watch movies or TV in it, etc. This way your subconscious mind knows that when you are in your bed, it is time to sleep.
- Don't drink liquids (unless very thirsty... don't deny thirst!) two hours before bedtime. This habit will prevent you from having to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
- Try very hard to go to bed at the same time every night (within an hour grace period). E.g. if you normally go to bed at 10 pm, try to be in bed between 9-11 pm every day of the week (including weekends). Similarly, if you have to get up at 7 am during the week, don't sleep any longer than 8 am on weekends. It is very important to keep the body on a similar sleep schedule. This way the body will feel tired and will wake up at the same time. It may sound annoying and that 8 hours sleep is 8 hours sleep, but scheduled sleep is very beneficial to the circadian rhythms and the metabolism of the body.
- Do regular exercise. If you sometimes feel restless and can't sleep, it may be because the body wasn't moved enough. Maybe the muscles weren't exerted and stretched like they should be. If the body has been very sedentary, it may be physically restless at bedtime, even when the mind is more than ready for a snooze. If regular physical activity is preformed, restful sleep is needed to repair muscles.
- Don't watch TV, movies, or stare at a computer right before bed. If you do like watching shows close to bed, take 15 minutes to do something non-stimulating. E.g. make your lunch for the next day, do dishes, read a book, read the newspaper, write in a journal, listen to music, meditate. This lets the mind relax as electronic devices can be very stimulating and can cause the mind to "race".