Sleep Hygiene Tips

  • Screen time: Turn off TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones, and game consoles one hour before bedtime
  • Caffeine: Avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime
  • Nicotine: Avoid nicotine before bedtime
  • Alcohol: Avoid alcohol after dinner
  • Sleeping Pills: Use sleep medications sparingly, their long-term effects are still unknown
  • Exercise: Get regular exercise
  • Shower/Bath: Take a hot shower or bath an hour or two before bedtime
  • Environment: Make your bedroom environment comfortable: temperature, quiet, dark, silence your phones or use Do Not Disturb mode
  • Meals: Avoid eating heavy meals before bed, but avoid going to bed hungry
  • Liquids: Avoid consuming a lot of liquids before bedtime to minimize nocturia
  • Naps: Avoid or reduce naps, especially closer to bedtime (but some naps may OK)
  • Bed: Go to bed when you are sleepy, limit your time in bed if you do not fall asleep within 15-20 minutes, only use your bed for sleep (or sex)
  • Schedule: Keep a regular sleep schedule and wake up at a consistent time (there’s likely an app for that)
  • Clocks: hide your clocks from bed level
  • Conversations: Avoid “big” topics that may be stimulating or stressful and save them for the morning
  • Activities: To make yourself sleepy, try reading a book, listening to a sleep playlist, or a mindfulness podcast, e.g. body scan, guided imagery, mindful breathing
Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, culture, sociology, philosophy, and more.