Sleep Hygiene Guidelines

Changes You Can Make To Your Behavior To Improve Sleep

Sleep Hygiene Guidelines

Recommendation Details
Regular bedtime and

rise time

Having a consistent bedtime and rise time leads to more regular sleep schedules and avoids periods of sleep deprivation or periods of extended wakefulness during the night.
Avoid napping Avoid napping, especially naps lasting longer than 1 hour and naps late in the day.
Limit caffeine Avoid caffeine after lunch. The time between lunch and bedtime represents approximately 2 half-lives for caffeine, and this time window allows for most caffeine to be metabolized before bedtime.
Limit alcohol Recommendations are typically focused on avoiding alcohol near bedtime. Alcohol is initially sedating, but activating as it is metabolized. Alcohol also negatively impacts sleep architecture.
Avoid nicotine Nicotine is a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime and at night.
Exercise Daytime physical activity is encouraged, in particular, 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, this may facilitate sleep onset. Rigorous exercise within 2 hours of bedtime is discouraged.
Keep the sleep environment quiet and

dark

Noise and light exposure during the night can disrupt sleep. White noise or ear plugs are often recommended to reduce noise. Using blackout shades or an eye mask is commonly recommended to reduce light.

This may also include avoiding exposure to television or technology near bedtime, as this can have an impact on circadian rhythms by shifting sleep timing later.

Bedroom clock Avoid checking the time at night. This includes alarm clocks and other time pieces (eg, watches and smartphones). Checking the time increases cognitive arousal

and prolongs wakefulness.

Evening eating Avoid a large meal near bedtime, but don’t go to bed hungry. Eat a healthy and filling meal in the evening and avoid late-night snacks.

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