Sleep Health

Sleep Hygiene: A Complete Overview of Maintaining Good Sleep Hygiene

June 19, 2023
Christina Santisteban

Sleep can be considered one of the most important activities throughout our lives, yet it is often disregarded. It plays a crucial role in our physical and mental health, as well as our overall well-being. Sleep helps to restore and repair the body, improve cognitive functions, boost mood and energy levels, help with weight management, and can even reduce the risk of getting and having certain diseases.

Without adequate sleep, we are more likely to suffer from fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and memory problems. For this reason, the importance of good sleep hygiene is not to be undermined, but what exactly does this mean?

Let’s find out!

What is Sleep Hygiene?

When we talk about defining sleep hygiene, it can be defined as the practice of following healthy habits and routines to ensure better sleep (Jefferson et. al., 2005). It is not just important for an individual’s physical health, but also their mental health as it helps you feel more energized and alert during the day.

Good Sleep Hygiene includes:

  • Avoiding certain activities before bedtime, such as using electronic devices, consuming caffeine, or eating late
  • Initiating a regular sleep schedule
  • Creating a relaxed sleeping environment
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress levels

By following these tips, you can recover your sleep quality and work on getting the restful sleep that your body needs. Especially as a student, targeting these routines and habits can give you that extra boost and get better quality sleep and improve your overall well-being (Brown, et al., 2002).

Why is Sleep Hygiene Important?

Sleep hygiene works hand-in-hand with not only your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health too. It is the practice of creating an environment that encourages good quality sleep. When done correctly, it can help us feel better about ourselves and perform at peak levels.

Proper sleep hygiene can also help us to have more energy during the day, improve our concentration and memory, reduce stress levels, and be an uplifting mood booster. Therefore, it is important that we take the necessary steps toward improving our sleep hygiene and quality in order to reap the benefits.

What are the Implications of Sleep Hygiene?

When discussing sleep hygiene, it is important to think about the significance. Ignoring quality sleep hygiene, for one, can lead to several repercussions and cause you to face severe mental and physical implications. Anxiety, restlessness, and depression are only the cream of the crop for potential implications.

With that being said, it is crucial to emphasize good sleep hygiene so that more qualitative and effective sleep can be had. The impact of sleep hygiene can be further elaborated through certain aspects which are discussed below:

  1. Potential Repercussions of Poor Sleep

Getting poor sleep has a wide range of consequences which tend to become more severe in the long run. In short, it can lead to issues including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and poor decision making. However, when discussing long-term, it can lead to deterioration of the immune system and assumes an added risk of cardiovascular diseases as well.

While sleep hygiene is often overlooked, it plays an important role in the maintenance of good health. It is essential to develop healthy habits that promote restful sleep, such as avoiding caffeine at night, avoiding bright lights before resting, exercising regularly, and establishing a manageable sleep schedule.

Even by following simple routines, we can ensure that we are getting enough quality sleep each night, which keeps our physical and mental health in check. Therefore, it is important for people to maintain good sleep hygiene and ensure they are getting enough sleep to avoid negative consequences.

  1. Correlation Between Mental Health and Effective Sleep

Mental health and sleep are closely related to one another. Poor sleep can lead to a decrease in well-being, while good sleep can prove to increase well-being.

Getting adequate amounts of quality sleep can help improve concentration and mood swings. It is important to maintain good sleep schedules and habitual routines in order to promote overall well-being.

  1. How Stress and Sleep are Interlinked

Stress and sleep are two of the most important factors for our determination of our physical and mental health. While stress can severely harm and impact our sleep, lack of sleep in and of itself can cause a surge in stress levels.

In order to indulge in a healthy lifestyle, it is vital to understand the intertwine of these two factors and how we can manage them both to achieve optimal health. Practicing good sleep hygiene is a notable way to maintain the balance for both.

Good Versus Poor Sleep Hygiene

While we’ve been discussing sleep hygiene, it is important to note the distinction between good sleep hygiene and poor sleep hygiene to better understand how it directly applies to health and good quality sleep.

Good sleep hygiene involves following certain habits, routines, and procedures that promote healthy sleep while also avoiding behaviors that  interfere with it (Brown, et al., 2002).

Poor sleep hygiene, on the other hand, is a term used to describe habits and behaviors that can interfere with a person’s ability to get quality sleep. It includes things such as straying away from a normalized sleep routine, overusing electronic devices, or eating large meals at unprecedented hours.

Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene: Tips to Keep in Mind

Good sleep hygiene is essential for an individual’s overall health and well-being. It involves developing simple habits that promote healthy sleep and ensuring that these habits are enforced on a regular basis. Also being committed to these habits and good sleep hygiene can also enhance the effectiveness of your sleep, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. Ahead we’ve listed some sleep hygiene tips in which you might be able to attain good sleep hygiene.

  1. Follow a Steady and Dependable Sleep Schedule

One of the most important activities that can ensure good sleep hygiene is following a steady and consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed and waking up in accordance with a dedicated schedule, even on the weekends and time off.

Doing this will help your body establish a daily rhythm, allowing you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Additionally, it can help with keeping your body and mood in check.

  1. Create a Sleeping Environment Where You Can Rest Conveniently

Achieving a good night’s sleep requires more than just getting into bed. Creating a decent sleep environment is key to achieving good sleep hygiene, and its importance should not be undermined (Lacks & Rotert, 1986).

According to a study, having a comfortable, dark, quiet, and cool environment can help improve the quality of your sleep (Riedel, 2000). Making small, physical changes to your bedroom or sleeping environment such as reducing light and noise levels, using blackout curtains or blinds, investing in comfortable bedding, and reducing the temperature, will help create an optimal sleeping environment to get restful sleep.

  1. Indulge in More Physical Activities Including Sports

One of the best techniques for sleep hygiene is to indulge in more physical activities during the day (Lacks & Rotert, 1986). Physical activities can work to reduce stress and improve levels of energy while leading to improved physical, mental, and emotional health that makes sleeping easier. Additionally, physical activities can also help regulate your body’s quotidian rhythm, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep.

  1. Pay Attention to What You’re Consuming Before Going to Bed

It can be difficult to maintain good sleep hygiene if we are not cognizant of what we are eating and consuming before bedtime. According to a study by Riedel, what we consume before bed can have a major impact on our sleep quality (2000). This includes the type of food and drinks we ingest, as well as the media and entertainment we consume.

Eating late at night can cause indigestion and make it difficult to fall asleep. Drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages can also disrupt your sleep pattern by stimulating the body. In this way, it is essential to be mindful of what you put into your body, especially before going to sleep (Riedel, 2000).

Consuming caffeine excessively or becoming too dependent on it may end up doing more harm than good - in this case, you can consume it but only to a certain extent. Caffeine affects the body by blocking the action of adenosine, which helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. When adenosine is blocked, we tend to feel more alert and awake. This can lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of caffeine during the day can lead to an increase in anxiety and restlessness which can also interfere with getting quality sleep at night.

  1. Seek Help from a Qualified Professional

Per usual, good sleep hygiene is an integral part of our overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people struggle with getting enough quality sleep. If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest, then contacting a professional is highly imperative in order to achieve good sleep hygiene.

A health/medical professional can provide valuable insight into the underlying causes of your sleep problems and offer personalized advice on how to address these issues. They may suggest some of the constructions that we mentioned such as exercising regularly or consumption tactics and guide you on how best to use medications, supplements, or other activities to get better sleep.

Furthermore, sleep hygiene worksheets from Therapy Aid can also help identify any underlying medical conditions that could be the reason behind your lack of restful nights.

Does Sleep Hygiene Work the Same for Everyone?

Sleep hygiene is unfortunately not an one-size-fits-all issue and construct. Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to sleep, so it’s important to understand what works best for the individual.

Factors such as age, stress, levels, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions can all affect the ways in which we approach our own individual sleep hygiene practices. Understanding these differences can help us find the best solution towards achieving restful nights of quality sleep.


Sleep is one of the most important activities in our life, and it is important to maintain good sleep hygiene so that we can get the restful sleep we want and need. Good sleep hygiene involves creating an environment and practices that promote healthy sleep habits.

By following some of the simple steps listed and provided, you can ensure that you will be able to get the restful night’s sleep that your body deserves.

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