10 Sleep Hygiene Tips: How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene | SleepScore

November 12th, 2020

Have you heard the phrase sleep hygiene before? It’s an important term to know when thinking about ways to improve your sleep health. The Sleep Foundation defines it as “a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness.”

Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?

While we do have coffee, tea, and other stimulants to jump-start our days, a full night of rest is the best medicine for optimal physical and mental health. Improved sleep hygiene can “improve productivity and overall quality of life…everyone can benefit from practicing good sleep habits.”

Getting too much, too little, or disrupted sleep leads to medical issues like fatigue, high blood pressure, and increased stress, among other things. But the good news is boosting your current habits and creating an area with the best sleeping conditions will significantly decrease your risk of these symptoms.


Sleep and alone time with your partner are the only things that should be happening in the bedroom.


10 Sleep Hygiene Tips: How to Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Consistency Counts

Going to bed at the same time every night is a great place to start improving yours sleep habits. Understanding your sleep chronotype and hypnogram can assist in establishing the best routine.

Try and stay within 20 minutes of your usual bedtime every night, even on the weekends. This will also help you keep a fixed wake-time each morning, so you’ll rise feeling rested and bright-eyed.

Cut the Stimulants

A more challenging habit to curb is identifying sources of caffeine and reducing your caffeine consumption, particularly later in the day. Many of us love the afternoon pick-me-up of coffee or tea, but anything consumed after 2 PM is considered bad sleep hygiene. Similarly, smoking and drinking alcohol before bed will give you fitful sleep and a groggy morning. Steer clear of any alcoholic beverages or cigarettes at least three hours before bed.

Turn Off the Devices

Sleep and light at night do not mix well. TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors all emit blue light, which reduces serotonin production in the brain and makes us feel more alert. Powering down devices or adding a blue light filter in the evening will allow your body to start producing melatonin at the appropriate time, so sleep overcomes you like it’s supposed to.

Chill Out

Your bedroom should be the ultimate place for sleep, and this includes maintaining the ideal temperature. The best temperature for sleep is anything between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for catching zzzs.

Stay Out

Be sure to treat your bedroom as just that, a place where you sleep! Using your bedroom for relaxing, doing work, eating dinner, or watching TV is considered poor sleep hygiene, because2 your mind associates the bed as a place of wakefulness. Sleep and alone time with your partner are the only things that should be happening in the bedroom.

Watch What You Eat

Be mindful that your diet can affect sleep. Heavy meals or those with high acidity, sugar, or spice can cause fitful rest.  Try and eat lighter healthier dinners with lean meat or fish to help curb late night snacking. If you do want a snack before bed, consider a high-carbohydrate snack like toast or crackers, or a bedtime smoothie. These foods help trigger the release of serotonin, so sleep won’t be far behind.

Workout on Time

Keeping your workouts on an optimal schedule is great for your sleep. Any physical activity should take place no later than three hours before bedtime. Evening workouts cause us to be overstimulated when it’s time to rest, so shoot for morning workouts instead. You’ll feel more energized all day, and your body will be ready to relax come evening.

Think Dark or Dim

Once you’re finished with dinner and dishes, it’s a good idea to start dimming the lights in your home. This tells your brain that sleep is on the horizon, and you’ll naturally start powering down. If forced to sleep with light, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Once you get into bed, make sure your room is as dark as possible. Cover windows and shut doors as necessary, and put the electronic devices away.

Create a Pre-Bed Ritual

Now that you’re going to bed at the same time each night creating a pre-bed ritual is the next best sleep hygiene habit. Many sound sleepers suggest parsing the hour before bedtime into 20-minute segments, where you get everything ready for the next day, take a hot shower, and relax or meditate.

Avoid Lying Awake

If you find yourself lying in bed unable to drift off after 10 minutes, it’s recommended that you get up and try to relax somewhere else, like a chair in your office or on the couch. You can try and find relaxation through gentle breathing, meditation, splashing warm water on your face or even bedtime sex. Steer clear of electronics or reading, as these will only keep your brain active.

Maintaining excellent sleep rituals and hygiene is a key part of cultivating great overall health and wellness. Happy sleeping!