Sleep Difficulties

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Review our tips and resources for a good night's sleep.

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep (should be followed consistently)

  • Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime helps separate your sleep time from the rest of your day. Avoid bright lights and activities that wind you up with stress, anxiety, or even excitement, as they can make it hard  to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep, and/or remain asleep.
  • Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating naps (even short catnaps) may help.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration.
  • Improve your sleep space. Your bedroom should be cool and free from noise and light. Consider using eyeshades, earplugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, or fans to increase your comfort at night.
  • Pay attention to light. Avoid bright light in the evening, and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
  • Avoid substances like alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, and other drugs.
  • Set aside your smartphone and laptop. The particular type of light emanating from these devices activates the brain and makes it hard to relax into sleep.
  • Keep work out of your bed. Keep your homework out of your sleeping environment, and if any activity or item creates anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
  • Reach out for help. If you are still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to reach out to CMHS or Health Services for assistance.

(Adapted from “Healthy Sleep Tips” from the National Sleep Foundation).

Effects of Poor Sleep

  • Decreased attention, concentration, and memory
  • Irritability and other mood changes
  • Impaired judgment and reaction time
  • Poor physical coordination (dangerous for driving)

Online Resources

  • Alcohol's Effect on Sleep: Learn some surprising facts about the consequences of mixing sleep with alcohol.
  • Sleep Disorders: Learn about different diagnoses related to sleep disturbances.
  • Drowsy Driving: Learn about precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from a drowsy driving crash.

Related Links