1. Cut Caffeine.  The effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off.  So if you drink a cup of coffee or soft drink in the afternoon and are still tossing at night, caffeine might be the reason.  Cutting out caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.

2. Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid.  Alcohol may initially help you fall asleep, but it also causes disturbances in sleep resulting in less restful sleep.

3. Relax before bedtime.  Stress not only makes you miserable it wreaks havoc on your sleep.  Develop some kind of pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between all the day’s stress and bedtime.  These rituals can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour.

4. Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable.  Use earplugs, window blinds or curtains, set the temperature to 20 degrees—everything possible to create the ideal sleep environment.

5. Eat right, sleep tight.  Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals just before bedtime. And avoid any specific foods that you know cause you trouble, such as spicy foods that cause heartburn.

6. Avoid napping.  While a nap sounds like a good idea after a long day, napping can only make matters worse if you usually have trouble falling asleep.  If you do, keep it brief, between 15-20 minutes.

7. Keep pets off the bed.  Allowing pets to sleep with you can cause you to wake during the night, either from pet movements or allergies.

8. Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed.  These activities can wire up your brain, making it difficult for you to fall asleep.