Tips on Good Sleep Hygiene

​Ages 6 - 18

  1. No naps. It is best to avoid taking naps during the day, to make sure that you are tired at bedtime.
  2. Get regular sleep. One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends.
  3. Sleep when sleepy. Only try to sleep when you actually feel tired or sleepy, rather than spending too much time awake in bed.
  4. Exercise. Regular exercise is a good idea to help with good sleep, but try not to do strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime.
  5. A light meal (without sugar) before bedtime helps your body to relax.
  6. The right space. It is very important that your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable for sleeping. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best, and make sure you have curtains/eyemask to block out early morning light and earplugs if there is noise outside your room.
  7. “Sleep rituals”: Bruising your teeth, reading a story/book, going to the toilet
  8. Avoid caffeine (coffee, energy drinks and cola drinks) and smoking for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed.
  9. Bed is for sleeping. Try not to use your bed for anything other than sleeping, so that your body comes to associate bed with sleep (avoid watching TV, using computer, eating and drinking in your bed).
  10. Stop using electronic media (phone, computer etc.) at least 1 hour before bedtime. It activates the brain and you will have difficulty gearing down.
  11. Focus on your breath. Focus on your breath going in and out when trying to sleep. If your mind wanders, simply go back to thinking about your breathing.  Do not think or worry about problems 1 hour before bedtime or when you are lying in your bed. If you are worried about something, talk to someone or think about it during the day.