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What is Sleep Hygiene & How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep?

What Is Sleep Hygiene?

It is important for you to have sound sleep for good mental as well as physical health. (5) Moreover, good sleep also improves your productivity and overall quality of life. (6) Practicing proper sleep hygiene would benefit both, children as well as older adults. Sleep hygiene is a list of several practices and different habits that are required to have proper quality of night sleep and full day alertness.(7) Improvement in sleep hygiene and having a proper education in the sleep hygiene is an important part of the cognitive-behavioral therapy that is used for treating insomnia.

How To Get Good Night’s Sleep?

Below are some of the ways that you can list down in your sleep hygiene and that would help you get good night’s sleep.

  1. Know How Much Sleep You Require:

    The first thing that you need to know is the exact amount of sleep time that is required for you during the nighttime. It is true that all throughout our lives, the sleep needs keep on changing; however, in general adults need 7 to 7.5 hours of night sleep for good health.(1) Infants, young children, and adolescents would require more sleep.

    So, always make sure that you have at least 7 hours of sleep every night. In case you find it difficult to sleep or do not feel rested even with 8-9 hours of night sleep because of any sleep disorder, make sure you go for a proper diagnosis and follow up the prescribed instructions for the expert healthcare professional.

  2. Follow A Sleep Time & Go To Bed & Wake Up At The Same Time Everyday:(11)

    One more point to remember in sleep hygiene is to have a specific sleep time and go to bed at the same time every day. Once you are well known about how much sleep you require, you must follow a regular sleep routine or schedule and go to bed at the same time every night. For making this step in sleep hygiene effective, you must set alarm for the morning and get up at the same time every day and make sure you also get up at the same time all days of the week, even during the weekends; so that you fall asleep at the same time every night.

  3. Quiet & Cool Environment is a Must for Sound Sleep:(11)

    To get a good night’s sleep, you also require a quiet environment. You should keep your bedroom as quiet as you can. In case you feel uncomfortable in absolute silence, you can get benefit from white noise. There are white noise machines, which you can get or can even download the white noise applications on your smart phones. You can choose nature sound classical ambience or guided meditation white noise that would make you fall asleep in a sound manner.(8) Apart from this, you also need to keep your bedroom quite dark and cool as a part of good sleep hygiene. The best temperature to fall asleep is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can help your body thermoregulate while you are sleeping, by maintaining a consistently cooler temperature. Keeping the sleep room dark also keeps the room cool. You can place small night lights too.

  4. Limit The Time You Stare At Digital Screens Before Bed:(11)

    One of the most crucial things to keep in mind to follow proper sleep hygiene is to limit the time you stare at the digital screen, watching television, especially before going to bed. Looking at computer or laptop or tablet screens right before bed is really detrimental to sleep.(9) This is because the blue light that comes from these screens are the lights with strongest wavelength that the brain perceives as the sunlight and thinks it is again day time and thus keeps you awake for long.(10)

    Apart from the intensity of the blue light that most of these smart devices use, they also excite or stress you; especially when you get notifications or some work related e-mails. It is important for you to note that you must keep all the electronics away one hour prior to bed; NO MATTER WHAT.

  5. Limit Your Daytime Nap:(11)

    One more thing that you need to do to have good night’s sleep is to limit the nap that you take during daytime. Longer sleep during daytime or frequent daytime naps can really interfere with a good night’s sleep. If you feel really tired and want to take nap during daytime, take a short nap, maybe around 30 minutes; but not longer than that.

  6. Follow A Proper Sleep Routine(11)

    A proper sleep time routine is another must have for good sleep hygiene and includes maybe 30 minutes to 60 minutes before going to bed could help you greatly in getting proper relaxation and a good night’s sleep. A sleep routine aims at winding up the mind and the body down for a night’s sleep.

    You need to include activities such as aromatherapy, visualization or meditation, deep breathing, reading a book and taking a warm bath and make a proper sleep routine.

  7. Eat Foods That Promote Sleep Before Bed:(11)

    Before bed, you need to eat the right food or foods that promote sleep. It is difficult to sleep on an empty stomach; however, it is good to have your dinner couple of hours before bedtime. Though large meals can make you sleepy, it often causes a disrupted sleep after a few hours. So, it is essential for you to take light meal before you plan on bedding down.

    We must also let you know that a well nutritious diet helps you in having better quality of sleep during the night. So, eat better if you want to sleep better. Consume foods that promote sleep and avoid foods that do the opposite. Some of the best foods for good sleep include: Oats, yogurt, milk, nuts, rice, bananas and cherries. Make sure you avoid excess of sugary foods or foods rich in fats.

  8. Do Regular Exercise During the Day:(11)

    You must remember that exercise is good for health. But it must be done during the daytime, or several hours before your bedtime. Though exercise helps in making your body get physically tired by the bedtime, doing strenuous exercise at nighttime must be avoided; at least 3 hours prior to bed. This is because vigorous exercise before bedtime energizes your body and mind and makes you more awake and this in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.

  9. Balance Your Fluid Intake for a Better Night’s Sleep:(11)

    You must also ensure that you remain hydrated for proper health; but watch the amount of water intake in the night time. You need to keep a balance on your fluid intake during night. Drink enough of water at night so as to keep yourself away from waking up feeling thirsty; however, do not drink so much of water or fluid right before bed that you have to remain awake or get up frequently to use the bathroom.

  10. Limit Your Caffeine Intake Before Bedtime:(11)

    One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind while practicing sleep hygiene is to limit the amount of caffeine and even alcohol you take before bedtime. Both of these disrupt sleep. Anyone who loves coffee knows that caffeine is actually a stimulant that keeps you awake.(2) Caffeine actually amps up the nervous system, so that the brain thinks that it is the time to get up instead of sleeping. So, it is important for you to avoid it before bed. According to a study it was found that caffeine can really delay the timing of our body clock. These effects of caffeine reduce the total sleep time. Caffeine might also reduce the amount of deep sleep that you could enjoy.(3) As per a study, it was explained that consuming caffeine 6 hours prior to bedtime reduces the total amount of sleep time by one hour.(4) These effects from caffeine can even be stronger in older people.

    Though alcohol might make you sleep initially, later on it would disrupt the sleep and thus prevent you from receiving required amounts of REM and deeper sleep.

  11. Go To Sleep When You Are Really Tired:

    It would be really frustrating if you struggle falling asleep and still keep lying awake in bed. So, make sure that if you are not falling asleep after around 20 minutes in bed, come out of the bed and sleep only when you feel totally tired and exhausted.

  12. Daily Dose of Sunshine Great for Good Sleep:

    It is true that sleeping in a dark room is really crucial for a sound and uninterrupted sleep. However, getting a daily dose of sunshine actually aids you in sleeping better. Aim at getting some good sunlight during the morning. You can also combine it with exercise if possible for you. This will help you wake up and stay energized during the day and make you tired during the night or by bedtime. The vitamin D which you will get from limited sun exposure is also beneficial for your health.

  13. Stay Calm When You Can’t Sleep:

    At times it may happen that even after following good sleep hygiene; you still find it difficult to fall asleep. In such cases, do not panic; remain calm and leave the bedroom and try to do something else relaxing. You can read a book, draw some sketch or anything else, but do not turn on the electronics. Go back to bed when you start to feel sleepy.


By following the above steps in sleep hygiene mentioned above, you can have a good night’s sleep. However, if you still find it difficult to sleep well or suspect having any kind of sleep disorder or any other health problem that might be keeping you awake for long during the night, then you need to seek professional help from your doctor.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 2, 2022

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