Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. You know you're getting enough sleep if you don't feel sleepy during the day. The amount of sleep you need stays about the same throughout adulthood. However, sleep patterns may change with age. For example, older people may sleep less at night and take naps during the day.
Here are some things you can do to help you sleep better:
* Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you didn't get enough sleep. This will help train your body to sleep at night.
* Develop a bedtime routine. Do the same thing every night before going to sleep. For example, take a warm bath and then read for 10 minutes every night before going to bed. Soon you'll connect these activities with sleeping, and doing them will help make you sleepy.
* Use the bedroom only for sleeping or having sex. Don't eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you're in bed.
* Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. If you must sleep during the day, hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask.
* If you're still awake after trying to fall asleep for 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.
Tips to help you sleep
* Avoid or limit your use of caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate), decongestants, alcohol and tobacco.
* Exercise more often, but don't exercise within a few hours before going to bed.
* Learn to reduce or manage the stress in your life.
* Don't lie in bed worrying about things. Set aside another time just for worrying. For example, spend 30 minutes after dinner writing down what's worrying you and what you can do about it.
* Try eating a light snack before going to bed, but don't eat too much right before bedtime. A glass of warm milk or some cheese and crackers may be all you need.
* Don't nap during the day if naps seem to make your insomnia worse.