The Ultimate Sleep Hygiene Checklist

Master your sleep hygiene in seven steps

Good sleep hygiene practices are crucial for obtaining quality sleep and promoting overall wellbeing. In this article, we will explore seven practical tips and tricks that can help you improve your sleep hygiene and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.

  1. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule: Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and promotes a consistent sleep-wake cycle. Consistency reinforces your body’s natural sleep rhythms, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

  2. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Design your bedroom to be a sleep-friendly environment. Keep the room cool, dark and quiet, and invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows and bedding. Remove electronic devices like smartphones and televisions to minimise distractions and promote relaxation. Consider using earplugs, eye masks or white noise machines to further enhance your sleep environment.

  3. Establish a Bedtime Routine: Develop a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Engage in calming activities like reading, taking a warm bath or practising relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Avoid stimulating activities and electronic screens close to bedtime, as they can interfere with the natural sleep onset process.

  4. Limit Stimulants and Alcohol: Be mindful of your consumption of stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine, especially in the evening. These substances can disrupt your sleep. Additionally, while alcohol might initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt the later stages of sleep, leading to poorer sleep quality. Limit your intake and avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

  5. Move Regularly: Engaging in regular physical activity promotes better sleep. Incorporate moderate-intensity exercise into your daily routine, but aim to complete it at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercise helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, reduces stress and promotes feelings of relaxation, contributing to a more restful sleep.

  6. Manage Stress and Worry: Stress and worry can interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep—practice stress management techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, journalling or engaging in relaxing activities before bed. Create a worry journal to jot down any concerns and possible solutions, helping to ease your mind and promote a calmer state before sleep.

  7. Avoid Napping or Limit Daytime Sleep: If you have trouble sleeping at night, avoid daytime napping or limit it to short power naps of 20 minutes or less. Prolonged or late-afternoon naps can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you feel like you need a nap, you should aim to do it earlier in the day.

Implementing these tips into your routine can significantly improve your sleep hygiene and lead to more restful and rejuvenating sleep. Prioritise sleep as an essential component of your overall health and wellbeing.