What is sleep hygiene?

Good sleep hygiene is paramount to achieving a restful and rejuvenating sleep.  Quality sleep is the cornerstone of our wellbeing, influencing everything from our mood to our cognitive function.  

In this article, we look into what sleep hygiene means and how it can help you to get the best night's sleep as well as building the very basics of optimal wellbeing. 

UNDERSTANDING sleep hygiene

At its core, sleep hygiene encompasses habits and environmental factors that contribute to healthy sleep patterns.  These are practices (habits) that aim to optimise both the quantity and quality of sleep, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. From establishing a consistent sleep schedule to creating a soothing bedtime routine, every aspect of sleep hygiene plays a crucial role in fostering restorative sleep. 

A recent study showed that inadequate sleep hygiene was considered to be one of the several factors contributing to poor sleep and insomnia.  Significant associations were found between good sleep hygiene in the form of sleeping in a comfortable environment, limiting naps to 30 minutes, maintaining a consistent wake time, and the reporting of better sleep quality.  


Embracing good sleep hygiene isn't just about getting more sleep; it's about nurturing your body and mind to function optimally. By implementing sleep hygiene practices into your daily routine, you can reap a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Improved mood and mental wellbeing
  • Enhanced cognitive function and productivity
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Reduced risk of chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Heightened creativity and problem-solving abilities
  • Greater resilience to stress and emotional challenges

"Sleep is the golden chain that helps bind our health and body together"
Thomas Dekker, Actor

6 key elements of Sleep hygiene

1. Consistent Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule (sleep-wake cycle) helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally. Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime routine

Wind down before bed with calming activities such as reading, gentle stretching, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Steer clear of stimulating activities such as vigorous exercise or watching gripping TV shows, as these can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.  Reduce exposure to screens emitting blue light, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers, as they can interfere with your body's natural sleep-wake cycle.

3. Optimal Sleep Environment

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for sleep. Keep it cool, quiet, and dark to promote uninterrupted rest. A room that is too warm, or too cold, interferes with your body’s ability to drift off. The ideal temperature is around 16c.  Another good tip is to ensure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows that provide adequate support for your body.  

4. Limit Stimulants 

Reduce consumption of alcohol and nicotine, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime - alcohol may help you to fall asleep but it interferes with sleep quality and you may find yourself waking more frequently during the night.  Having a 2pm caffeine curfew can help too as drinking coffee within 4 to 5 hours of going to bed can prevent falling to sleep.

5. Regular Exercise

Engage in regular physical activity, but aim to complete your workouts at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercise promotes better sleep by reducing stress and anxiety while enhancing overall sleep quality.

6. Mindful Eating and Hydration

Avoid heavy meals, spicy foods, and excessive liquids close to bedtime to prevent discomfort and frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. Instead, opt for light, balanced snacks if you're hungry before bed.

profound impact of quality sleep

In the fast paced world that we live in, it's essential to recognise the profound impact of quality sleep on our overall health and happiness.  By ensuring good sleep hygiene, you can transform your nights from restless to restorative, ensuring that you have more energy, motivation and fulfilment the following day.  So tonight, why not start implementing these simple yet powerful practices and experience the difference for yourself?  Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Ensuring employees feel their best at work is crucial, and obtaining sufficient high-quality sleep is fundamental to achieving optimal wellbeing. Wellbeing People offer a variety of workshops and webinars covering topics related to sleep, mindful, stress and relaxation.

Sleeping for Success Webinar and Workshop

Discover  the importance of prioritising not only the quantity, but also the quality of sleep, to ensure your team wake feeling restored, recharged and ready to conquer the day

References and further reading


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