Proper preparation begins long before you go to bed. Avoid strenuous or stimulating activities before you go to bed. Only go to bed when you feel drowsy. If you don’t fall asleep easily, there is nothing wrong with reading or doing puzzles a bit longer until you start to doze off. You might sleep an hour less, but because you end up falling asleep quite quickly, the quality of sleep is better.
Before going to bed
Do not eat too late in the evening. If your stomach is full, your body has to work hard to digest the food. And this prevents you from enjoying fully relaxed sleep. Make sure you drink enough before you go to bed; don’t go to bed thirsty. However, don’t drink too much caffeine (like coffee, black tea and cola) or alcohol; these can disturb your sleep. Conclude every evening with a set ritual, like turning everything off, tidying the room or drinking a glass of milk. Always perform the actions in the same order. A warm shower can also work, but it should still be at least half an hour before you go to bed. Falling asleep is paired with a drop in body temperature; the warm shower makes your body’s thermostat react about half an hour later with a lower body temperature, right when you want to fall asleep.
In the bedroom
Your bedroom should radiate rest and relaxation. Your mood right before you fall asleep is of the utmost importance for a good night’s sleep. For that reason, you should remove anything not associated with rest, such as clothing lying about or objects relating to work, like mobile phones or laptops. The room temperature should be between 16 and 25 °C. Preferably, you shouldn’t do anything in bed other than sleep or prepare for sleep. So only watch TV and read if it is light, relaxing material. Sex can also be an excellent preparation for sleep.