What Is Good Sleep Hygiene? Top 10 Tips to Sleep Better

Tips to Sleep Better

Do you often struggle to fall asleep at night or feel tired and groggy in the morning? If so, you might be suffering from poor sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene talks about all the habits and practices that affect the quality and quantity of your sleep. It includes factors such as your bedtime routine, your sleeping environment, your diet, your exercise, and your exposure to light and noise.

Good sleep hygiene can help you improve your sleep quality, enhance your mood, boost your immune system, and prevent various health problems.

In this article, we will explore what good sleep hygiene is, why it is important, and how you can practice it daily. We will also look at some of the latest scientific research and give you a handy checklist to evaluate your ‘sleep habits’. Finally, we will offer top 10 tips to help you achieve better sleep.

So, let’s brace up and get started!

What Is Sleep Hygiene?

This term refers to habits and practices that affect the quality and quantity of your sleep.

It includes factors such as your

  • bedtime routine
  • sleeping environment
  • diet
  • exercise and
  •  exposure to light and noise

Good and proper sleep hygiene can help you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

It can also improve your mental and physical health, job productivity and performance during the day.

On the contrary, improper sleep hygiene and habits can cause insomnia, daytime sleepiness, mood swings, impaired memory and concentration, and increased risk of various diseases. Therefore, it is important to practice good sleep hygiene every day, and make it a part of your lifestyle.

Top 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips to Practice Daily

Top 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips
If you want to improve your sleep quality and quantity, you need to practice good sleep hygiene every day.

Here are some of the best tips that you can follow to achieve better sleep.

  1. Tip 1: Stick to a regular sleep routine.

We recommend you go to bed and awaken at the same time every day. Practice this even on weekends and on holidays to develop a habit. This will help your body clock adjust to a consistent rhythm and make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

  1. Tip 2: Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other stimulants.

These substances can interfere with your sleep by keeping you awake, disrupting your sleep cycles, or causing you to wake up too early. Avoid consuming them at least 4 to 6 hours before your bedtime, or limit them to moderate amounts.

  1. Tip 3: Cut down on heavy meals, spicy foods, and fluids before bed.

These can cause indigestion, heartburn, or frequent urination, which can disturb your sleep or make it harder for you to fall asleep. Have a light snack instead, such as a banana, a glass of milk, or some nuts.

  1. Tip 4: Create a comfortable and relaxing sleeping environment.

Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, cool, and well-ventilated. Try using blinds or curtains, or sleep with an eye mask to block out any light. You may even try out earplugs, a fan, or a white noise machine to mask any noise. You can also use aromatherapy, such as lavender, to create a soothing atmosphere.

  1. Tip 5: Follow a relaxing bedtime routine.

Do some activities that help you unwind and calm down before bed, such as reading, listening to music, meditating, or doing some gentle stretches. Avoid any activities that are stimulating, stressful, or arousing, such as watching TV, playing video games, working, or arguing.

  1. Tip 6: Avoid naps during the day.

Struggling with nighttime sleep? Avoiding or limiting daytime naps, especially after 3 pm and keeping them brief (20 minutes or less), can improve your overall sleep quality and make falling asleep at night easier.

  1. Tip 7: Exercise regularly, but not too close to bedtime.

Exercise can improve your physical and mental health, as well as your sleep quality and quantity. It can help you reduce stress, improve your mood, and regulate your body temperature. However, exercising too close to bedtime can make you too alert and energized, and interfere with your sleep. Aim to exercise at least 3 hours before your bedtime, or in the morning or afternoon.

  1. Tip 8: Expose yourself to natural light during the day.

Natural light can help your body clock synchronize with the day-night cycle, and regulate your sleep-wake cycle. It can also boost your mood, alertness, and energy levels. Try to get at least 30 minutes of natural light every day, preferably in the morning or early afternoon. Minimize exposure to bright evening light, especially from electronic devices like phones, tablets, computers, or TVs. They can inhibit melatonin production, potentially delaying the onset of sleep.

  1. Tip 9: Seek professional help if required.

Seek professional help if you have any sleep disorders or medical conditions that affect your sleep. Insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, and circadian rhythm disorders are some prevalent sleep disorders that you need to keep a lookout for.

Some common medical conditions that can affect your sleep include chronic pain, diabetes, thyroid problems, asthma, allergies, depression, anxiety, and menopause. If you suspect that you have any of these conditions, or if you have trouble sleeping despite following good sleep hygiene practices, consult your doctor or a sleep specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Tip 10: Make your bed comfortable and inviting.

Invest on cozy mattresses, pillow, sheets, and blankets that suit your preferences and needs. You can also add some extra pillows, cushions, or stuffed animals to make your bed more cozy and supportive. Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep, so that you associate it with rest and relaxation.


Why Is Sleep Hygiene Important?

Prioritizing sleep hygiene is vital for mental, physical health, and overall well-being.

  • Your behaviors during the day — not just before you go to bed — can affect how well you sleep.
  • Sleep is essential for your body and brain to function properly.

It helps you regulate your mood, memory, learning, concentration, immune system, metabolism, and more. Getting enough sleep can also lower your risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

  • Again, poor sleep can have negative consequences for your health and well-being.

It can impair your cognitive abilities, emotional stability, and productivity. It can also increase your susceptibility to infections, inflammation, and stress. Chronic lack of sleep can even lead to serious conditions, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and sleep apnea.

Therefore, practicing good sleep hygiene can help you improve your sleep quality and quantity, and enhance your overall health and happiness. By following some simple and effective tips, you can create a healthy sleep environment and routine that supports your natural sleep-wake cycle and promotes restful sleep.

What Is the Recommended Amount of Sleep Per Night?

The recommended amount of sleep per night varies depending on your age, lifestyle, and health conditions. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, most healthy adults need a minimum 7 hours of quality sleep per night. However, some people may need more or less sleep to function optimally.

The following table shows the general guidelines for how much sleep different age groups need:

  1. Infant (4-12 months) – 12-16 hours
  2. Toddler (1-2 years)   – 11-14 hours
  3. Preschool (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours
  4. School-age (6-12 years) – 9-12 hours
  5. Teen (13-18 years) – 8-10 hours
  6. Adult (18 years and older) – 7 hours or more

These recommendations are based on scientific evidence and expert consensus, but they are not strict rules. The exact amount of sleep you need may depend on other factors, such as your activity level, health status, sleep quality, and individual preferences.

To determine your optimal sleep duration, you can ask yourself some questions, such as:

  1. Do you feel refreshed, alert, and productive after sleeping for seven hours?
  2. Do you have any health issues that may affect your sleep, such as chronic pain, diabetes, or depression?
  3. Do you engage in physical or mental activities that require high levels of energy and concentration, such as sports, work, or study?
  4. Do you often feel sleepy or rely on caffeine during the day?
  5. Do you tend to sleep more or less when you have a flexible schedule?

Your answers to these questions can help you adjust your sleep schedule to meet your individual needs. If you have trouble sleeping or suspect that you have a sleep disorder, you should consult your doctor for treatment.

Sleep Hygiene Research – Science Explained!

It encompasses habits and practices fostering high-quality, ample sleep. It enhances daytime alertness, energy, and overall well-being while mitigating health risks linked to inadequate sleep.

But what is the scientific evidence behind sleep hygiene? How does it work and why is it important?

Sleep hygiene is based on the understanding of how our body and brain regulate our sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is influenced by both external factors, such as light, temperature, and social cues, and internal factors, such as hormones, genes, and brain activity. The circadian rhythm helps us to synchronize our biological functions with the environmental changes of day and night, and to maintain a stable and consistent sleep pattern.

However, the circadian rhythm can be disrupted by various factors, such as jet lag, shift work, stress, illness, medication, or lifestyle choices. When the circadian rhythm is disrupted, it can cause difficulties in falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up, as well as impair our cognitive, emotional, and physical performance during the day. This can lead to short-term and long-term consequences for our health and well-being, such as increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and impaired immunity.

Sleep hygiene is not only a set of rules or recommendations, but also a way of living that respects and supports your natural sleep-wake cycle. By practicing good sleep hygiene, you can improve your sleep quality and quantity, and enhance your overall health and happiness.

Additionally, sleep hygiene NHS researchers aim to understand the mechanisms and effects of sleep on our body and brain, and to develop new and effective interventions and treatments for sleep problems. Sleep hygiene research is conducted by various disciplines, such as psychology, neuroscience, medicine, pharmacology, and public health, and involves different methods, such as laboratory experiments, clinical trials, surveys, and epidemiological studies.

In this blog we have consulted information and guidance on sleep hygiene research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, which is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. The NIH supports and conducts research on sleep and circadian rhythms, and provides resources and tools for researchers, health professionals, and the public.

The NIH also hosts the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR), which coordinates and supports sleep research across the NIH and other federal agencies, and promotes the translation of research findings into clinical practice and public health policy.

Sleep hygiene research is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field that contributes to the knowledge and improvement of sleep and health. By following the latest findings and recommendations from sleep hygiene research, you can optimize your sleep and enhance your well-being.

Sleep Hygiene Checklist

Sleep Hygiene Checklist

  • Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays.
  • Avoid snoozing your alarm or staying in bed for too long after waking up.
  • Expose yourself to natural sunlight or bright artificial light as soon as possible after waking up.
  • Do some physical activity, such as stretching, walking, or exercising, to energize your body and mind.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast that includes protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the morning, as they can interfere with your sleep cycle.


  • Have a balanced lunch that provides you with enough energy and nutrients for the rest of the day.
  • Avoid napping during the day, especially after 3 pm, as it can reduce your sleep drive at night.
  • If you feel sleepy or tired in the afternoon, try to do something stimulating, such as listening to music, reading, or talking to a friend.
  • Limit your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the afternoon and evening, as they can keep you awake at night.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day.


  • Have a light dinner that is easy to digest and does not cause indigestion or heartburn.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything within 3 hours of your bedtime, as it can disrupt your sleep quality and duration.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you wind down and prepare for sleep, such as reading, meditating, listening to soothing music, or taking a warm bath.
  • Avoid using electronic devices, such as TV, computer, smartphone, or tablet, at least an hour before bed, as they can emit blue light that suppresses your melatonin production and stimulates your brain.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and cool, and use it only for sleep and sex.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night, and aim for at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep.

Following this sleep hygiene checklist can help you improve your sleep habits and enjoy a better quality of life.

What Are Signs of Poor Sleep Hygiene?

Some common signs are:

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Waking up too early or too late
  • Feeling tired, groggy, or irritable during the day
  • Having trouble concentrating, remembering, or performing tasks
  • Experiencing mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  • Having frequent headaches, body aches, or digestive issues
  • Getting sick more often or having a weakened immune system
  • Having a higher risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or cancer

If you experience any of these signs, you may have poor sleep hygiene and need to improve your sleep habits. By following the sleep hygiene checklist, you can enhance your sleep quality and quantity, and enjoy a better quality of life.

Sleep Hygiene Tips For Kids!

Sleep hygiene is not only important for adults, but also for kids. Kids need enough sleep to grow, learn, and stay healthy. However, many kids have trouble sleeping well due to various factors, such as stress, screen time, irregular schedules, or poor sleep habits. Poor sleep hygiene can affect kids, physical, mental, and emotional well-being, as well as their academic and social performance. Therefore, it is essential for parents and caregivers to help kids develop good sleep hygiene from an early age.

Here are some tips for improving sleep hygiene for kids:

  1. Tip 1: Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time for your kids, and stick to them as much as possible, even on weekends and holidays.
  2. Tip 2: Establish a relaxing bedtime routine for your kids, such as reading a story, singing a lullaby, or cuddling with a stuffed animal.
  3. Tip 3: Avoid exposing your kids to bright or blue light from electronic devices, such as TV, computer, smartphone, or tablet, at least an hour before bed, as they can interfere with their melatonin production and sleep cycle.
  4. Tip 4: Make sure your kids’ bedroom is comfortable, dark, quiet, and cool, and free of any distractions, such as toys, games, or noise.
  5. Tip 5: Encourage your kids to avoid caffeine, sugar, and spicy foods in the evening, as they can keep them awake or cause stomach upset.
  6. Tip 6: Help your kids to cope with any stress, anxiety, or fears that may prevent them from falling asleep or staying asleep, such as talking to them, reassuring them, or using positive imagery.
  7. Tip 7: Teach your kids the importance of sleep and the benefits of good sleep hygiene, such as feeling refreshed, energetic, happy, and smart.

By following these tips, you can help your kids improve their sleep hygiene and enjoy a better quality of life.

Is Sleep Hygiene the Same for All?

Sleep hygiene is the set of habits and practices that promote good sleep quality and quantity. However, sleep hygiene is not the same for all people, as different factors can affect how much and how well we sleep. Some of these factors are:

  • Age

As we age, our sleep patterns change. For example, older adults tend to sleep less, have more trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and experience more daytime sleepiness than younger adults. Therefore, older adults may need to adjust their sleep hygiene accordingly, such as avoiding naps, limiting caffeine, and keeping a regular sleep schedule.

  • Lifestyle

Our lifestyle choices can also influence our sleep hygiene. For example, people who work night shifts, travel across time zones, or have irregular schedules may have difficulty maintaining a consistent sleep cycle. Therefore, they may need to adopt some strategies to cope with their sleep challenges, such as using light therapy, melatonin supplements, or earplugs and eye masks.

  • Health

Our health conditions can also affect our sleep hygiene. For example, people who suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or other sleep disorders may have trouble sleeping well or enough. Therefore, they may need to seek medical help and follow their doctor’s advice on how to improve their sleep hygiene, such as using medication, CPAP machines, or behavioral therapy.

  • Preferences

Finally, our personal preferences can also play a role in our sleep hygiene. For example, some people may prefer to sleep in a warmer or cooler room, with or without a partner, with or without background noise, or with or without a pillow. Therefore, they may need to experiment and find out what works best for them and their sleep quality.

This goes on to show that sleep hygiene is not the same for all people, as different factors can affect how much and how well we sleep. However, by following some general guidelines and adapting them to our individual needs and circumstances, we can improve our sleep hygiene and enjoy a better quality of life.


How can you improve your sleep hygiene and enjoy the benefits of a good night’s rest? The key is to follow some simple but effective habits and behaviors that can enhance your sleep quality and quantity.

These include keeping a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, turning off electronic devices before bed, avoiding stimulants and heavy meals close to bedtime, exercising regularly, optimizing your bedroom environment, limiting activities in bed to sleep and sex, limiting naps during the day, managing stress and anxiety, and seeking professional help if needed.

By practicing good sleep hygiene, you can improve your physical and mental health, productivity, and well-being. Sweet dreams!


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The information provided is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional guidance. It is not intended to diagnose any sleep or mental health conditions. Prior to making any changes to your sleep routine, it is advisable to seek personalized advice from a healthcare professional.