Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 31-03-2023

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Sleep has been proven to have various health benefits. These benefits include both physical and mental aspects. For example, sleeping well helps in conserving our body’s energy, memory functions, and emotional regulation. These are only a few of the many benefits that current scientific investigations have been able to reveal so far. There is a lot more that science is attempting to understand about this phenomenon.

Like any drive, sleep also has to be balanced in order to achieve maximum benefits from it. Sleep hygiene is about setting certain healthy guidelines for regulating sleep. Just like any hygiene protocol, sleep hygiene requires consistent efforts in the application and obtaining the best results.

The following guidelines are the basis of maintaining optimum sleep hygiene:

Maintaining a bedtime: The most fundamental step in sleep hygiene is to set a regular bed and wake-up time. Common mistakes made include;- staying up at odd hours on most weekdays and staying in bed most of the weekend days. This characterizes sleep deprivation and often leaves an individual tired and dull during the majority of the time on most days


  • Avoid daytime napping: Sleeping during the day for longer than a few minutes can disturb our sleep cycle for the night. Thus, with the exception of elderly individuals or medical patients, it is highly advisable to keep a check on such a habit.
  • Maintain portion size during dinner time: Try to avoid eating a heavy or very light meal because of their potential interference with getting sound sleep.
  • Engage in physical exercise: Maintaining a fitness routine and regular exercise are assets to maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. However, late evening exercising can be a disturbance to a healthy night time sleep.
  • Regulate caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances: Keeping a close check on the amount of substances consumed can be highly beneficial for getting into a healthy sleep routine. Thus, consumption of caffeine, alcohol, etc, should be minimized within 8 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid emotional or psychologically taxing topics before bedtime: Thinking or talking about bothersome or anxiety-inducing or upsetting subjects around bedtime can keep one awake during bedtime hours. This leaves a person feeling tired or groggy in the morning. 
  • Setting the ambiance of the bedroom: Let the bedroom environment be comfortable. This environment should help one feel relaxed. Thus, maintain an optimum temperature (preferably cooler than warm). In addition, limit the use of your bed for sleep. Using the bed for other activities such as studying, eating, watching tv, etc., can make one associate these activities with the bed instead of sleep.

Good sleep habits translate into health benefits over time. Thus, such habits bolster the functions of our bodies.


·Mendelson, W. (2005). Sleep disorders. In Sadock, B.J. & Sadock, V.A. (Eds.), Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry (pp. 2023-2035). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

·St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. (n.d.). Sleep hygiene [Brochure]. Dublin; Ireland:  Author. 

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