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Can't sleep? Use these daytime tips to get a better night's sleep

by , 25 November 2013

If you have trouble sleeping, chances are you have these two problems: The first is when you find it difficult to go to sleep. This is known as sleep onset insomnia. The other is you fall asleep, but wake up at, say, 2am or 3am and can't fall back asleep. This is known as sleep maintenance (or interruption) insomnia. Regardless of what your problems is, there are solutions you can use to get better sleep…

Sleep isn’t something that just happens when you fall into bed. Your body gets primed for it all day,” says Michael Breus, the author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor's 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health in a WebMD report.

What does this mean?

It means if you want help in sleeping through the night; make some changes in how you spend your days.

Try these four daytime tips to get a better night’s sleep

#1: Tackle to-dos earlier

Evenings should be a time to unwind. If you spend the hours before bedtime trying to do a lot of chores, it could disrupt the quality of your sleep.

You’ll sleep more soundly if you get up earlier to tackle those to-dos. Save the evenings for rest and relaxation. Be sure to turn in early enough so that you still sleep for at least seven hours, says WebMD.

After all, says Tracey Marks, author of Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified, “your brain is better primed for mental tasks in the morning when sunlight suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.”

#2: Avoid naps

If you think an afternoon nap is a good idea when you’re groggy from a bad night’s rest, you’re wrong.

An afternoon nap can have a negative effect on the length and quality of your nighttime sleep. If you must catch up on sleep, take a nap before 4 pm. And limit the nap to no longer than 30 minutes.

#3: Create a bedtime ritual

“Bedtime routines are just as important for adults as they are children,” says Breus.

He adds that your body needs at least 30 minutes to relax and prepare for sleep. The same things that help children unwind, such as a warm bath, soft lighting and reading, also work wonders for adults.

It may also be a good idea to develop a sleep pattern if you want to keep the weight off.

#4: Exercise regularly

The WebMD report says that people with sleep trouble tend to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly when they’re physically active during the day. So getting enough exercise is important if you want to sleep better.

One word of caution: If you have insomnia and your doctor has told you not to exercise at night, follow those instructions.

Make sure you use these daytime tips if you want a better night’s sleep.

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