Good habits for good sleep:
1. Exercise most days, even if it’s just to take a walk.
2. No caffeine after 6:00 p.m.
3. An hour before bedtime, avoid doing any kind of work that takes alert thinking. Addressing envelopes—okay. Analyzing an article—nope.
4. Adjust your bedroom temperature to be slightly chilly.
5. Keep your bedroom dark. Studies show that even the tiny light from a digital alarm clock can disrupt a sleep cycle. We have about six devices in our room that glow bright green; it’s like sleeping in a mad scientist’s lab. I have to put a pillow over the cable box.
6. Keep the bedroom as tidy as possible. It’s not restful to fight through chaos into bed.
If sleep won’t come:
7. Breathe deeply and slowly until you can’t stand it anymore.
8. If your mind is racing (you’re planning a trip, a move; you’re worried about a medical diagnosis), write down what’s on your mind. This technique really works for me.
9. Slather yourself with body lotion. This feels good and also, if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re hot, it cools you down.
10. If your feet are cold, put on socks.