1: Stick to a routine, even on weekends. Ideally, go to bed and wake up at or near the same time each day. Any routine that fits your schedule and allows for about 8 hours is reasonable.
2: Exercise in the morning or early afternoon, preferably outdoors or near east-facing windows. Seeing sunlight while engaging in physical activity during the day helps promote deep sleep at night.
3: Look out at the early morning light for at least 5 minutes. This helps keep your circadian rhythm synchronized. Seeing the sunset or being outside around dusk is also beneficial to your circadian rhythm and can be especially helpful when changing time zones.
4: Ditch the afternoon coffee. On average, caffeine can stay in your system for 12 hours, so time your morning coffee or tea 12 hours before you want to be in bed.
5: If you consume alcohol, limit to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women, and don’t drink alcohol within three hours of bedtime. Alcohol causes sleep to be fragmented, raises core body temperature, and decreases deep sleep. You’ll get your best sleep when your body temperature drops and sleep is uninterrupted.
6: Avoid bright lights, screens, smartphones, or sources of blue light 3 hours before bed. Blue light decreases melatonin production and increases cortisol, which throws off sleep cycles. Try to add candles, dim lamps, or natural “fire light” to your evening routine.
7: Make your bedroom a dark cave since even a little light can disrupt sleep significantly. Minimize light from phones, alarm clocks, and even smoke detector sensors until you want to naturally wake up.
8: Make your room cool. Set your thermostat to 65-68°F to help trigger a drop in core body temperature, a sleep signal for your body.
9: Nap a little, but not too much. Keep naps to less than 30 minutes to support a bump in energy, ideally, in the early afternoon, no later than 3 p.m.
10: Eat light and early. Eat enough to be satisfied (not too hungry or too full) and finish your last meal or snack 3 hours before bed. This will give your body time to digest the food and prepare for rest.