General recommendations for prevention of insomnia include the following:
- Work to improve your sleep habits.
- Learn to relax. Self-hypnosis, biofeedback and relaxation breathing are often helpful.
- Control your environment. Avoid light, noise, and excessive temperatures. Use the bed only to sleep and avoid using it for reading and watching TV. Sexual activity is an exception.
- Establish a bedtime routine. Have a fixed wake time.
- Avoid large meals, excessive fluid intake, and strenuous exercise before bedtime and reduce the use of stimulants including caffeine and nicotine.
- If you do not fall asleep within 20 to 30 minutes, try a relaxing activity such as listening to soothing music or reading.
- Limit daytime naps to less than 15 minutes unless directed by your doctor.
- It is generally preferable to avoid naps whenever possible to help consolidate your night's sleep.
- There are certain sleep disorders, however, that will benefit from naps. Discuss this issue with your doctor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/8/2014
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