Having trouble sleeping? It is important to talk with your healthcare provider before taking any sleep medications. It’s best to avoid taking them, if possible. Sleep medications should be used only as recommended, and only for a short time. Some can lead to dependence. You can take other measures to help you sleep:
■ A light bedtime snack may be helpful. Many people find that warm milk increases sleepiness, because it contains a natural, sedative-like amino acid.
■ Avoid stimulants such as caffeine (found in coffee, tea, cola drinks and chocolate) for at least three or four hours before bed.
■ Do not take naps during the day.
■ Exercise (moderately) in the afternoon or morning but never at night or right before bedtime.
■ Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake at the same time each morning.
■ Use the bed only for sleep or sexual activity.
— Source: National Institutes of Health