Tips for a good night’s sleep

The well-being of sleep


• Go to bed every night and get up every morning at the same time, also at the weekend, irrespective of how much you slept the night before.

• If you wake up before the alarm goes off, get up and start your day.

• Go to bed only when you are sleepy.

• If you can’t sleep, it’s better not to stay in bed but get up, leave the bedroom and do something relaxing such as read a book, watch television or have a warm bath.

• Try to relax as much as possible before going to bed, having a warm bath for example (but not a shower, which has a stimulating effect), or have a soothing drink such as warm milk or a herbal tea (the old standby chamomile is always good).

• If you are hungry at bedtime, eat something light and easily digested.

• Sleep in a comfortable bed, in a bedroom that is as quiet as possible and at a room temperature that is neither too hot or too cold.

• Eat at regular times, avoiding heavy meals near bedtime and giving preference to foods rich in carbohydrates.

• Take regular exercise during the day, especially in the afternoon.


To be avoided:

• Going to bed if you are not tired; sleep cannot be “forced”.

• Sleeping in the following morning if you have not slept much during the night.

• Taking “naps” during the day as this has a negative effective on night-time sleep.

• Drinks containing caffeine or alcohol before going to bed. Alcohol can make you sleepy, but once its effect has worn off you risk waking up in the middle of the night and then having difficulty getting back to sleep.

• Smoking close to bedtime.

• Eating heavy foods rich in fats and protein that put a strain on your digestive system.

• Doing intense physical exercise before going to bed as this has a stimulating effect.