17 Sleep Hygiene Tips for Better Sleep Quality and Improved Health

Hygiene Tips for Better Sleep Quality and Improved Health

Getting enough quality sleep is extremely important for both physical and mental health. Unfortunately, many people struggle to get restful and rejuvenating sleep on a regular basis.

Practicing good sleep hygiene can help optimize your sleep environment and habits so you fall asleep more easily, sleep more soundly, and wake up feeling refreshed. In this article, we will provide 10 effective sleep hygiene tips to improve your sleep quality.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene refers to the habits, practices, and environmental factors that influence how well you sleep. Good sleep hygiene helps promote restful and uninterrupted sleep by optimizing your bedroom environment and pre-bedtime routines.

Specific elements of sleep hygiene include:

  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time daily)
  • Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes or less
  • Blocking out light and noise in the bedroom for sleep
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals close to bedtime
  • Establishing a calming pre-bed routine like taking a bath or reading
  • Exercising regularly but not right before bed
  • Turning off screens from smartphones, TVs, and computers 1-2 hours before bed
  • Using comfortable mattresses, pillows, and bedding

In essence, sleep hygiene encompasses all behavioral, environmental, and lifestyle practices that improve sleep quality and duration. Good sleep hygiene promotes uninterrupted, restful sleep cycles throughout the night.

Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?

Getting quality sleep on a consistent basis is extremely important for both physical and mental health. Practicing good sleep hygiene helps optimize your sleep habits so you can fall asleep faster, achieve deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Here are some key reasons why sleep hygiene matters:

  • Improves sleep quality – Good sleep hygiene techniques enhance sleep by creating an environment and schedule that mimics the body’s natural sleep rhythms.
  • Increases sleep duration – Many adults don’t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Improving sleep hygiene can help you sleep longer without interruptions.
  • Regulates circadian rhythms – Keeping a regular sleep-wake schedule in sync with your body’s natural circadian clock regulates hormones for better sleep.
  • Reduces insomnia risk – Insomnia makes it hard to fall or stay asleep. Sleep hygiene helps prevent insomnia in healthy adults and manage it in those with chronic insomnia.
  • Boosts immunity – Sleep is vital for a properly functioning immune system. Getting enough quality sleep fights inflammation, infection and disease.
  • Supports mental health – Lack of sleep is linked to depression, anxiety, and emotional instability. Adequate sleep enhances mood, concentration, and cognition.
  • Lower risk of health issues – Poor sleep is associated with higher risks of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
  • Improves productivity – Sleep deprivation reduces focus, performance, and memory. Adequate sleep helps you be more alert and productive during the day.

17 Ways  to improve sleep hygiene

1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule – Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, regulates your circadian rhythm so your body gets used to a set sleep pattern. This makes it easier to fall and stay asleep.

2. Limit daytime naps – While short power naps can boost energy levels, long or late naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. The ideal nap length is 10 to 30 minutes.

3. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine – Take time to unwind before bed with a hot bath, light reading or gentle yoga to prepare your body for sleep. Dim lights an hour before bedtime to increase melatonin.

4. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet – An optimal sleep environment is darkened with a cool air temperature of around 65°F and minimal outside noise. Use blackout curtains, a fan, a humidifier or a white noise machine.

5. Avoid electronics before bed – Blue light from TVs, laptops, smartphones and tablets suppress melatonin production making it harder to fall asleep. Turn off screens 1-2 hours before bed.

6. Limit caffeine and alcohol – Caffeine can stay elevated in your system for 6-8 hours, so avoid coffee, tea and sodas late in the day. Alcohol may make you drowsy but causes disrupted sleep later on.

7. Exercise regularly – Moderate aerobic activity during the day helps promote restful sleep. Time exercise so it’s not too close to bedtime when endorphins may keep you awake.

8. Eat a light, early dinner – Heavy, fatty meals or spicy foods can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

9. Optimize your sleep environment – Invest in a comfortable mattress and bedding. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains or an eye mask.

10. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine – Wind down before bed by taking a warm bath, reading, listening to soothing music, or doing light stretches.

11. Get exposure to natural bright light during the day – Daytime light exposure helps regulate melatonin production so you feel sleepy at night. Open blinds, sit near windows or go outside during the day.

12. Take strategic daytime naps – Limit naps to 10-30 minutes in the early afternoon to boost energy without disrupting nighttime sleep. Avoid naps after 3 p.m.

13. Avoid large meals before bed – Heavy, spicy or fatty meals too close to bed can lead to indigestion and difficulty falling asleep. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.

14. Limit liquids before bed – Drinking too many fluids close to bedtime increases awakenings to urinate. Hydrate well during the day but avoid excess fluids 1-2 hours pre-bed.

15. Do relaxing activities before bed – Take a warm bath, read a book, listen to soothing music or practice gentle yoga to unwind your body and mind before bed.

16. Avoid stressful conversations before bed – Emotionally-charged conversations elevate cortisol levels making it harder to fall asleep. Resolve arguments earlier in the day.

17. Get anxiety and worries out before bed – Jot down a worry list or practice meditation before bed so anxious thoughts don’t keep you up. Let go of the day’s problems.


Making changes to your daily and nightly habits are effective way to combat sleep problems and get better rest. Be consistent with these sleep hygiene tips and you’ll likely notice improved sleep quality, increased energy, and better health overall. Focus on keeping a regular routine so your body’s sleep-wake cycle stays in sync. Learn here more about sleep health tips and guides.