top of page
  • Writer's pictureChristopher

Counting sheep, improving sleep (part 2): using sleep hygiene practices to improve restfulness

In the previous post, we discussed how the optimal amount of sleep is dependent on age. However, the quality of sleep is also essential for overall well-being and a healthy lifestyle. Yet, with the demands of modern life, many of us struggle to get the restorative rest we need. Poor sleep can lead to a range of health issues, including reduced cognitive function, mood disturbances, and even chronic conditions.

he good news is that there are several proven strategies you can incorporate into your routine to enhance the quality of your sleep. These strategies are often part of maintaining good "sleep hygiene". In this post, we'll explore 10 effective ways to achieve a more restful and rejuvenating sleep experience.

  1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Regularity is key when it comes to sleep. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.

  2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Develop a calming pre-sleep routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. This could include activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, practicing gentle yoga, or meditating. Avoid screens and stimulating activities before bed.

  3. Optimize Your Sleep Environment: Make your bedroom conducive to sleep by ensuring it's dark, quiet, and cool. Invest in blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to minimize disturbances. A comfortable mattress and supportive pillows are also crucial for a good night's sleep.

  4. Limit Exposure to Screens: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can disrupt your sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Try to avoid screens at least an hour before bedtime, or use blue light filters on your devices.

  5. Watch Your Diet and Hydration: Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime, as they can interfere with sleep quality. Opt for a light, balanced snack if needed. Staying hydrated is important, but try to limit fluid intake in the evening to prevent waking up for bathroom trips during the night.

  6. Get Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise can promote better sleep, but try to avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime. Engaging in physical activity earlier in the day can help you fall asleep more easily and experience deeper sleep cycles.

  7. Manage Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can significantly impact sleep quality. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation to calm your mind before bed.

  8. Limit Naps: While short power naps can be refreshing, long or irregular daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you need to nap, aim for 20-30 minutes earlier in the day.

  9. Be Mindful of Your Sleep Position: Your sleep position can affect both sleep quality and physical comfort. Sleeping on your back or your side is generally recommended over sleeping on your stomach, as it can reduce strain on your neck and back.

  10. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you consistently struggle with sleep despite trying these strategies, consider consulting a healthcare professional. Sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome may require specialized treatment.

Conclusion: Prioritizing high-quality sleep is one of the best investments you can make in your overall health and well-being. By adopting these 10 effective strategies, you can create a sleep-friendly environment and establish healthy sleep habits that contribute to better rest, improved mood, and enhanced daily performance. Remember, improving your sleep quality takes time and consistency, but the benefits are well worth the effort. Sweet dreams!


Irish, Leah A et al. “The role of sleep hygiene in promoting public health: A review of empirical evidence.” Sleep medicine reviews vol. 22 (2015): 23-36. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2014.10.001

4 views0 comments
bottom of page