Rules of Sleep Hygiene

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Have a regular schedule.
Go to bed and wake-up at the same times, regardless of the day of the week.

Have a relaxing pre-sleep routine.
Engage in a routine prior to sleep in order to prep the mind/body for sleep.

Ensure bedroom only used for sleep or intimacy.
Only go to bed when drowsy. Do not eat, watch TV, or read in bed.

Limit the time you spend awake in bed.
If you are awake in bed for 15-20 minutes, get up and leave bedroom. Engage in quiet activity until drowsy.

Avoid naps.
Only nap if necessary to retain alertness (30 minutes maximum). Avoid napping 6-8 hours prior to sleep.


Have a dark bedroom.
Avoid bright lights, because bright lights can disrupt sleep.

Set cool temperature (or comfortable temperature).
Uncomfortably warm bedrooms disrupt sleep.

Avoid/minimize loud noises.
Use ear plugs or “white noise” machines to minimize loud noises.

Have a bedroom free of potential allergens.
Allergens can disrupt sleep because of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing.


Avoid caffeine 6-8 hours before sleep.
Chocolate, some teas, coffee contain caffeine. Reasonable daily amount of caffeine is 1-2 cups of coffee.

Avoid alcohol 3-5 hours before sleep.
Alcohol may helps sleep onset, but sleep will be fragmented and poor quality.

Avoid nicotine prior to sleep.
Withdrawal symptoms can disrupt sleep.

Eat a light carbohydrate snack prior to sleep.
Hunger can disrupt sleep. Avoid large meals prior to sleep. Avoid sugars and caffeine.


Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise promotes a regular sleep/wake schedule.The body likes a routine.

Avoid strenuous exercise 3-5 hours before sleep.
Exercise raises body temperature. During sleep body temperature lowers, and increased body temperature confuses the mind/body of the regular sleep/wake schedule.