Healthy Habits for Better Sleep

  • Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, even weekends!
  • Create a relaxing, regular bedtime routine. Things you can try are:
    • a warm bath
    • listening to calming music
    • aromatherapy
  • Limit napping to promote better sleep at night, and a gradual return to daily activities. If daytime sleepiness is severe and naps cannot be avoided, ideally naps should be:
    • Limited to one per day
    • Less than 30 minutes
    • Before 3:00 PM
    • In bed (not on the couch or in front of the TV, etc.)

Sleeping Environment

  • Ensure your bedroom is dark, cool and comfortable.
  • Eliminate all sources of light in your bedroom while sleeping, or wear a sleep mask.
  • Keep your bedroom clean, tidy and quiet.
    • Relaxing nature sounds or music can be helpful to block out distracting sounds.
  • Avoid screens 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Remove electronic equipment from the bedroom, including TVs, computers, and cell phones.
  • Activities such as reading, watching TV, using internet, or playing games should take place in another room.
  • A digital clock with ‘light up’ numbers in the bedroom is not recommended.
    • If you can’t remove the clock, turn it away from the bed. If you wake in the night, try not to look at the clock.

Nutrition, Exercise, and Lifestyle

  • Avoid sugar and caffeine for 4-6 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. When metabolized, alcohol can produce awakenings or lighter sleep.
    • NOTE: Alcohol should be avoided at all times while your brain is healing.
  • Avoid heavy meals late in the evening.
    • If you are hungry before bed, consider a bedtime snack with protein (e.g., a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, greek yogurt, peanut butter on celery sticks).
  • Make sure there is enough magnesium, iron and B vitamins in your diet. Adequate vitamin and mineral intake is important to help the body produce melatonin, which promotes sleep.
    • Talk with your doctor about appropriate supplementation.
  • Get 30-60 minutes of exercise during the day as tolerated, or as prescribed by your clinical team.
    • Regular exercise promotes sleep.
    • Avoid exercising within 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Expose yourself to natural light during the day.

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Breathing Techniques document