Key Points

  • Avoid caffeine or energy drinks six hours before your bedtime.
  • Have a bedtime routine that helps you relax.

Sleep hygiene includes a variety of practices that help you get quality sleep. Quality sleep means falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling refreshed. When you are well rested, your mind and body will work their best.

Here are some tips that might help you improve your sleep:

In the Morning

Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Wake up around the same time every day, even on the weekends. Get enough sleep so that you feel well-rested every day.

During Your Day

  • Use your bedroom only for sleeping. Don’t lie in bed when you’re not there to sleep. Have homework, work, computers and TVs in another room. This will help your mind always relate your bed with sleeping.
  • Avoid caffeine/energy drinks six hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid naps. Naps can interfere with your sleep cycle. If you take a nap, keep it under an hour. Do not take naps after 3 p.m.
  • Exercise regularly during the day, but avoid exercising in the evening (if applicable).

During Your Evening

  • Finish eating at least two to three hours before your bedtime.
  • Avoid drinking a lot of liquid close to your bedtime.
  • Avoid foods, beverages and medicines that might contain caffeine or stimulants.
  • In the hours before bedtime, avoid activities that stimulate the mind. These could include: homework, card/board games, video games, texting, and computer activities/games.

Bedtime

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed around the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Have a bedtime routine that helps you relax. This might include a warm bath, listening to soothing music, aromatherapy, or a bedtime story (a few minutes of reading). Bedtime activities should be relaxing, NOT stimulating. Relaxing activities may include: listening to soothing music, relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, or reading. Reading should be nonsuspenseful, and not material you are required to memorize, such as schoolwork. Do these activities until you are sleepy.
  • Sleep in a room that is dark, quiet, not too hot, and not too cold. Make sure you are wearing comfortable pajamas and have a mattress and pillows that are comfortable.
  • Consider trying “white noise,” such as a fan blowing. Do not use a TV as background noise.
  • Keep a pad of paper and pen next to your bed so you can write down your worries or “things to do.” Then mark the ones that you can do tomorrow or later in the week.

If You Can’t Fall Asleep

  • Turn your clock around, so you are not watching the minutes tick by.
  • If you have been awake in bed for more than 20 minutes, get out of bed and go to a quiet place to do a quiet activity that is relaxing. Relaxing activities might include: listening to soothing music, relaxation, meditation, breathing exercises, or reading. Reading should be nonsuspenseful, and not material you are required to memorize, such as schoolwork. Do these activities until you are sleepy.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.