What habits promote a good night's sleep?

Good sleep habits, also called sleep hygiene, can help you get a good night's sleep. For example:

  • Think positive. Avoid going to bed with a negative mindset, such as "If I don't sleep for 8 hours, I will feel terrible tomorrow."
  • Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to take naps during the day because naps may make you less sleepy at night.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can cause waking in the night and interferes with sleep quality.
  • Get regular exercise. Try not to exercise close to bedtime because it may stimulate you and make it hard to fall asleep. Experts suggest not exercising for 4 hours before the time you go to sleep.
  • Don't eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime, however, may help you sleep.
  • Make your sleeping place comfortable. Be sure that it is dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs or a fan.
  • Relax before going to bed by reading a book, listening to music, taking a bath, or enjoying another activity you find relaxing.
  • Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex.
  • If you can't fall asleep and don't feel drowsy, get up and read or do something that is not overly stimulating until you feel sleepy.
  • If you have trouble lying awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you to not focus on those worries overnight.
  • Stop clockwatching. Turn the clock around and only use the alarm.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/15/2015.

References

  • Avidan, Alon Y; Zee, Phyllis C. Handbook of Sleep Medicine. 1st edition. Philadephia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. May 2006.
  • Foldvary-Schaefer N. The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Sleep Disorders. New York: Kaplan Publishing, 2009
  • American Sleep Association: Insomnia
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine: Insomnia

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy