Although it’s often dismissed as too simple, creating good sleep habits – known as sleep hygiene – can be an important first step in treating insomnia. The goal is to eliminate any stimulants that may be keeping you up, and to train your mind to associate your bedroom with sleep – successful sleep, says Andrew Jamieson, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Tips for good sleep include:

•    Eliminate caffeine.
    Avoid naps.
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   Don’t drink alcohol.
    Don’t eat a large meal near bedtime.
    Exercise.
    Go to bed and get up at the same times every day.
•    Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex – no TV, piles of laundry to sort or even books.
•    If you can’t sleep, get up after 20 minutes. Go into another room and read or listen to music until you’re sleepy.
•   Don’t use bright lights or watch TV.

Other tips to doze off naturally:

If you smoke, stop. A recent study published in the journal, CHEST (the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians), found that even healthy cigarette smokers are four times as likely as nonsmokers to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep.

Create a routine. Create a nightly routine that prepares you for bed, such as changing into soft, loose pajamas, drinking soothing herbal tea, brushing your teeth, and washing your face. Eventually, these will become mental signals that it’s time to sleep. Also, it is important to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. This sets your internal clock, the mechanism inside your brain that tells you when to sleep, wake, eat and perform other everyday functions.