Font Size

Sleep Problems, Age 12 and Older (cont.)


Many sleep problems can be prevented. Avoid activities that might keep you from a good night's sleep.

  • Use your bed only for sleeping. Do not read, watch television, or do paperwork in bed. Reserve the bedroom for sleeping and sexual activities so that you come to connect it with sleep.
  • Do not take naps during the day, especially in the evening.
  • Do not drink or eat caffeine after 3:00 p.m. This includes coffee, tea, cola drinks, and chocolate.
  • Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime.
  • Exercise during the day. Avoid strenuous exercise within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Nicotine can disrupt sleep and reduce total sleep time. Smokers report more daytime sleepiness and minor accidents than do nonsmokers, especially in younger age groups. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol. It may make you sleepy but also will probably wake you up after a short time.
  • Do not engage in stimulating activities at bedtime. Substitute reading or listening to relaxing music for watching television.

You may be able to prevent Click here to view an Actionset.sleep problems caused by jet lag by staying hydrated with water and avoiding caffeine, such as coffee.

Children also need plenty of sleep to grow and develop. It's important to help your child and yourself to Click here to view an Actionset.sleep well with a good bedtime routine.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Medical Dictionary