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Six Steps to Sleep Serenity

Posted April 28, 2017 by Stan Forman, RPSGT, EEGT, CSE

Healthy sleep habits, or good sleep hygiene, improve your quality of life and lead to a healthier lifestyle. But how do you get that sometimes elusive quality sleep? Here are six tips to help you catch better Zzzzzs.

1. Watch what you eat and drink

Limit your intake of nicotine, caffeine and alcohol before bed. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night. Also, don’t go to bed on an extremely full or empty belly as being either stuffed or hungry could cause discomfort that keeps you up.

2. Evaluate your sleeping quarters

If your room is too hot, too loud or you just hate your pillow, you are not going to sleep well. Design a room that's ideal for you. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep. Children or pets should sleep in separate sleeping quarters.

3. Stick to a sleep schedule

Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent helps regulate your body’s clock and can help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night. However, if you don't fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you're tired.

4. Manage stress

Think of ways you can relieve stress: get organized, delegate responsibilities or set aside worries for the night. Taking a warm bath, reading a book or listening to soothing music may help you wind down and relax, promoting better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness. However, be wary of using the TV or other electronic devices as ways to manage stress. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with sleep.

5. Limit or avoid daytime naps

Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep — especially if you're struggling with insomnia or poor sleep quality at night. If you choose to nap during the day, limit yourself to about 10 to 30 minutes and make it during the midafternoon.

6. Get moving

Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. A good rule to follow is to not sit for more than an hour at a time. Timing is important. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you might be too energized to fall asleep. Figure out what works best for you.

Need help?

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact us. Summa Health has a comprehensive program that can help you determine if you have a sleep disorder.

To make an appointment with one of our sleep specialists, call 234.867.7965.

To schedule a sleep study, call 330.996.7711. A physician referral is required. Visit for a complete list of our sleep clinic locations.

Stan Forman, RPSGT, EEGT, CSE
Manager, Sleep Medicine
Summa Health Sleep Clinic


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If your situation is an emergency, call 911.