If you are having trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, the National Sleep Council suggests these sleep tips:

1. Have a routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.

2. Sleep on a good bed and associate your bed with only sleep and rest.

3. If you can't get to sleep after 10 minutes or so, get up. Have a warm bath, drink hot milk, read a book.

4. If you suffer from insomnia, don't nap during the day. If not, a short nap can be beneficial.

5. Go for quality, not quantity. Good solid sleep is always better than restless sleep.


* Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime. Working out releases stress and helps you to sleep.

* Cut down on stimulants (coffee, tea, soft drinks, cigarettes) and on alcoholic consumption.

* Watch what you eat. Sleeping on a full stomach is bad for digestion and may lead to sleep apnea.


If you have chronic sleep problems, consult your family doctor.

This article was prepared by the Psychiatric Emergency and Crisis Service Team of St Mary's Hospital.