Below are some practical sleep tips and ideas which are within our control, and hopefully can offer us chronic illness sufferers at least some degree of sleep improvement:

  1. Sleep in a pitch black room and/or use an eye mask. Eye masks cost just a few dollars and work great.
  2. Avoid exposure to blue lights, such as a computer or television, for an hour before your bedtime. If you absolutely must be on the computer, smartphone, or television, use of amber-colored glasses can block blue lights. I personally use such glasses.
  3. Use a humidifier, especially during the cold, dry times of the year.
  4. Try to go to sleep at a relatively early hour, preferably by 10 PM or, by latest, at 11. 
  5. Stop eating 3 hours before bed to avoid acid reflux. 
  6. Stop drinking water or any liquids for an hour or two before bedtime, so that you don’t have to make extra trips to the bathroom at night. 
  7. Avoid caffeinated products, particularly in the evening.  Likewise, alcohol or drugs can also disrupt your sleep pattern.
  8. Exercise during the morning or daytime or, at latest, in the early evening.
  9. Consider a melatonin supplement or chamomile tea, which also has a sedative effect. 
  10. Take a warm bath about 1.5 hours before bed.
  11. Think positive thoughts and do some relaxing activities before bed such as journaling, listening to calming music, or mediating.  Try to reduce stress however you can, as anger and anxiety are incompatible with sleep so hopefully doing these would limit or reduce their impact.
  12. Take a short nap but, if you do, limit it to 20 minutes and take it before 2:00 PM so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.
  13. Keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

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