Good Sleep Starts with a Good Mattress. Find a mattress that is suitable for your body and lifestyle. You may need a new mattress if your mattress is 5-7 years old, you wake up stiff, sore or numb, or if your mattress shows signs of overuse, such as sags or lumps.
Consistent Sleep Schedule. Set yourself a bed time and try to go to bed at that time every day. The same system applies for what time you wake up. This is true to everyday, so try to keep your schedule consistent, even on the weekends. After some time you will often not need an alarm clock and wake up fully rested and refreshed, this is a sign of healthy sleep.
Establish a Relaxing Routine before Bed. Do something relaxing and that does not stimulate your mind before bed such as reading, listening to soothing music or taking a hot bath. This does not include watching TV, eating or drinking alcohol or caffeine, all of which may cause you trouble with your sleep.
Make your Perfect Sleeping Environment. Make your bedroom dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Keep work materials, TVs and computers out of the bedroom. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep.
Avoid Big Meals at Night. Make dinnertime early in the evening and avoid heavy, rich foods two hours before bed. Fatty foods take more work to digest and may keep you up.
Stay Away from Alcohol and Caffeine. Although alcohol may make you fall asleep faster, it reduces your quality of sleep often waking you up later in the night. Caffeine can cause sleep problems up to 12 hours after drinking it, so you may consider cutting it out after lunchtime or cutting it out altogether. Drinking too many liquids in general may disrupt your sleep as well, causing frequent trips to the bathroom; this is especially true for drinks containing caffeine.
Exercise Regularly. Make sure to finish your workout at least 3 hours before bed. Exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to a sounder sleep; however, exercising sporadically will make falling asleep more difficult.
Average Sleep Needs
According to the National Institutes of Health
|Newborns (0-2 months)||12 - 18|
|Infants (3 months to 1 year)||14 - 15|
|Toddlers(1 to 3 years)||12 - 14|
|Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)||11 - 13|
|School-aged children (5 to 12 years)||10 - 11|
|Teens and preteens (12 to 18 years)||8.5 - 10|
|Adults (18+)||7.5 - 9|