Sleep Hygiene


For the sake of our general health and well-being, sleep is essential. Our bodies heal and regenerate as we sleep, enabling us to wake up feeling rejuvenated and prepared to take on the day. However, many individuals find it difficult to get a decent night’s sleep due to the pressures of contemporary living. This post will offer helpful advice to improve sleep hygiene and, in turn, improve your general health.

The Importance of Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to practices and habits that promote high-quality sleep. Like oral hygiene, which includes brushing your teeth and regular bathing for personal cleanliness, sleep hygiene is essential for physical, emotional, and mental health. There are several chronic medical conditions — obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few — that are associated with poor sleep. Consequently, by improving your sleep hygiene you will be able to sleep longer and deeper, which will lead to increased alertness, improved memory and decision-making, decreased irritability, a reduction in stress and anxiety, less fatigue, and, likely, an improvement in your ability to manage your emotional impulses and behaviors.

Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

One of the key principles of sleep hygiene is establishing a consistent sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. This consistency reinforces your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night, adjusting based on your individual needs.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

A relaxing bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Incorporate activities that promote relaxation, such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing deep breathing exercises. Avoid stimulating activities like watching TV or using electronic devices, as the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your sleep hormone production. Instead, opt for activities that promote calmness and tranquility.

Design a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Your sleeping environment has a big impact on how well you sleep. Make your bedroom calm, dark, and cold to promote good sleep. Invest in blackout curtains or an eye mask to block out any unwanted light, and consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out any disruptive sounds. Additionally, ensure your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive, as an uncomfortable sleep surface can lead to aches and pains.

Limit Daytime Napping

A quick power nap has its uses, but taking too many naps during the day might throw off your sleep-wake cycle. If you’re struggling with nighttime sleep, try to limit daytime napping to 20-30 minutes and avoid napping too close to your bedtime. If you find it difficult to stay awake during the day, engage in activities that keep you mentally and physically active to help combat drowsiness.

Manage Stress and Anxiety

Sleeping during the night may be greatly impacted by stress and worry. Include stress-reduction practices in your everyday routine, such as writing, yoga, or meditation. It may also be helpful to establish a worry journal, where you can write down any concerns or thoughts before bed, allowing you to clear your mind and promote a sense of calmness. If stress and anxiety persist, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

Avoid Stimulants and Heavy Meals Before Bed

Certain substances can interfere with your sleep quality, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Avoid consuming stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine in the afternoon and evening, as they can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. Additionally, heavy meals close to bedtime can cause discomfort and indigestion, making it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Opt for light, nutritious snacks if you need to eat before bed.

Incorporate Regular Physical Activity

Frequent exercise can enhance the quality of your sleep by lowering stress, encouraging relaxation, and adjusting your body’s internal schedule. Take part in moderate-intense physical activities for at least half an hour on most days of the week, such as running, cycling, or brisk walking. But try not to work out too soon before bed because the adrenaline and elevated body temperature might keep you from falling asleep.

Limit Exposure to Electronic Devices

Electronic devices emit blue light, which can suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Limit your exposure to electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, in the evening hours. If you must use these devices, consider using blue light filters or wearing blue light-blocking glasses to minimize their impact on your sleep.

Manage Your Bedroom Temperature

Room temperature can significantly impact your sleep quality. Maintain a cool bedroom temperature, ideally between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-19 degrees Celsius), as sleeping is more comfortable in a colder setting. Experiment with different bedding and clothing options to find what keeps you comfortable throughout the night. Additionally, ensure proper ventilation and airflow in your bedroom to promote a fresh and relaxing sleep environment.

Also Read: What is the Most Common Form of Depression?


How can I improve my sleep hygiene?

Establishing a regular sleep schedule, coming up with a calming nighttime ritual, and constructing a sleep-friendly atmosphere are all part of improving sleep hygiene. Better sleep hygiene may also be attained by controlling stress, avoiding stimulants and large meals just before bed, getting regular exercise, and minimizing screen time.

Why is sleep hygiene important for overall health?

Sleep hygiene is important for overall health because it promotes quality sleep, which is essential for physical and mental well-being. Poor sleep hygiene can lead to an increased risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By prioritizing good sleep hygiene, you can improve your sleep quality and enhance your overall health.

How many hours should I sleep per night?

Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night to function optimally. However, individual sleep needs may vary. It’s important to listen to your body and ensure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested and rejuvenated.

Can napping during the day affect my nighttime sleep?

Excessive daytime napping can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. If you feel the need to nap during the day, limit it to 20-30 minutes and avoid napping too close to your bedtime.

What can I do to manage stress and anxiety before bed?

Managing stress and anxiety before bed is crucial for promoting quality sleep. Incorporate stress management techniques into your routine, such as meditation, yoga, or journaling. Establishing a worry journal can also help clear your mind before bed. If stress and anxiety persist, seek professional help from a therapist or counselor.

How does regular physical activity improve sleep quality?

Regular physical activity can improve sleep quality by reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and regulating your body’s internal clock. Engaging in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you sleep better at night.


Prioritizing good sleep hygiene is essential for better sleep and overall health. Start with a consistent sleep schedule and relaxing bedtime routine. Create a cool, quiet, and dark sleep environment. Manage stress, avoid stimulating activities and heavy meals before bed. Include regular physical activity. Limit exposure to bright screens and manage bedroom temperature. If you still need help, consider using a sleep tracker, investing in a mattress topper or earplugs, and talking to a doctor. Quality sleep is as crucial to optimal health as good nutrition, exercise, and mindful living. Multi-task your way to a better night’s rest — you are worth it!

Written by

Dr Hoorain

Hoorain Batul is a passionate and experienced writer specializing in gynecology, obstetrics, fashion, and women's wellness. Hailing from Pakistan, she holds an MBBS degree, having completed her studies in 2011, and has furthered her expertise with FCPS Part 1 and 2. With a deep understanding of women's health and a keen eye for fashion, Hoorain brings a unique perspective to her content, providing valuable insights and empowering women with knowledge to lead healthier and more fashionable lives. Her content is a hub of informative and engaging articles, catering to the diverse needs of women worldwide.