"Exercise is beneficial to sleep. It's time to revise global recommendations for improving sleep and put exercise—any time—at the top of our list for healthy sleep habits," says Dr. Barbara Phillips, poll task force member.For more information about the 2013 Sleep in America poll read the complete summary of findings.
- Exercise regularly. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
- Create an environment that is conducive to sleep that is quiet, dark and cool with a comfortable mattress and pillows.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, like a warm bath or listening to calming music.
- Go to sleep and wake at the same time every day, and avoid spending more time in bed than needed.
- Use bright light to help manage your "body clock." Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep to strengthen the association between your bed and sleep. It may help to remove work materials, computers and televisions from your bedroom.
- Save your worries for the daytime. If concerns come to mind, write them in a "worry book" so you can address those issues the next day.
- If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
- If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or "stop breathing" episodes in your sleep, contact your health care professional for a sleep apnea screening.