Your Personal Habits
Fix a bedtime and an awakening time. Do not be one of those people who allow bedtime and awakening time to drift. The body “gets used” to falling asleep at a certain time, but only if this is relatively fixed. Even if you are retired or not working, this is an essential component of good sleeping habits.
Avoid alcohol 4-6 hours before bedtime. Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4-6 hours before bedtime. These can affect your ability to stay asleep.
Exercise regularly, but not right before bed. Regular exercise, particularly in the afternoon, can help deepen sleep. Strenuous exercise within the 2 hours before bedtime, however, can decrease your ability to fall asleep.
Your Sleeping Environment
Use comfortable bedding. Uncomfortable bedding can prevent good sleep. Evaluate whether or not this is a source of your problem, and make appropriate changes.
Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated. If your bedroom is too cold or too hot, it can keep you awake. A cool (not cold) bedroom is often the most conducive to sleep.
Block out all distracting noise, and eliminate as much light as possible.
Getting Ready For Bed
Try a light snack before bed. Warm milk and foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, such as banana, may help you to sleep.
Practice relaxation techniques before bed. Relaxation techniques (relax tech.htm) such as yoga, deep breathing and others may help relieve anxiety and reduce muscle tension.