Good Sleep Hygiene
Enhance Your Sleep Experience
One must develop some kind of pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between all the stresses of the day and bedtime. This is perhaps even more important for children. These rituals can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. Some find relief in making a list of all the stressors of the day, along with a plan to deal with them, as it serves to end the day.
Combining this with a period of relaxation, perhaps by reading something light, meditating, or taking a hot bath can also help you get better sleep.
Social or Recreational Drugs
Social or recreational drugs like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol may have a greater impact on your sleep than you realize. Caffeine, which can stay in your system as long as 14 hours, increases the number of times you awaken at night and decreases the total amount of sleep time. This may subsequently affect daytime anxiety and performance.
The effects of nicotine are similar to those of caffeine, with a difference being that at low doses, nicotine tends to act as a sedative, while at high doses it causes arousals during sleep.
Alcohol may initially sedate you, making it easier to fall asleep. However, as it is metabolized and cleared from your system during sleep, it causes arousals that can last as long as two to three hours after it has been eliminated. These arousals disturb sleep, often causing intense dreaming, sweating, and headache.
Smoking while drinking caffeine and alcohol can interact to affect your sleep dramatically. These sleep disturbances may be most apparent upon awakening, feeling unrefreshed, groggy, or hungover.