5 Practical Steps to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

5 Practical Steps to Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Work, social media, mental load. Getting a good night's sleep often feels like a luxury we can't afford. Yet, sleep is a fundamental pillar of our overall health and well-being. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), sleep patterns in Australia have been steadily declining over the past decade, with an alarming number of adults reporting insufficient sleep. The concept of sleep hygiene refers to the practices and habits that promote a healthy and restful night's sleep. In this article, we'll explore the concept of sleep hygiene and provide you with five actionable steps to help you improve it. 

Understanding Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene consists of a range of practices that promote quality sleep and prevent sleep disorders. These practices focus on creating a sleep-conducive environment, adopting healthy bedtime routines, and minimising factors that disrupt sleep.

Now, let's explore 5 effective steps to help you improve your sleep hygiene.

1. Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

One of the most crucial aspects of sleep hygiene is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Our bodies have internal clocks known as circadian rhythms, and disrupting this natural cycle can lead to sleep problems. Consistency helps regulate your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.


2. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Your sleep environment plays a significant role in the quality of your sleep. Make sure your bedroom is a peaceful and comfortable space. Consider investing in a high-quality mattress and pillows that provide adequate support. Additionally, keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. If external noise is an issue, you may want to use earplugs or a white noise machine to drown out disturbances.

Create total darkness in your sleep environment. This darkness signals to your body that it's time to sleep, promoting deeper and more restful rest. Silk is gentle on your skin, reducing the chances of irritation, and it helps maintain a consistent temperature, keeping you comfortable throughout the night. Try using a silk eye mask to enhance your sleep quality, especially if you're sensitive to light or have a partner with a different sleep schedule. It's a small investment that can yield significant benefits for your sleep hygiene.

 The Silk Store's Eye Mask

3. Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down. Activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practising deep breathing exercises can help you relax and prepare for sleep. Avoid engaging in stimulating activities such as watching TV or using electronic devices right before bed, as the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle.

Aromatherapy with essential oils can be a powerful tool for improving sleep hygiene. Lavender essential oil, in particular, is known for its calming and sleep-inducing properties. You can diffuse it in your bedroom or apply a diluted version to your skin before bedtime. The soothing scent of lavender can help you relax and drift into a peaceful slumber.


4. Watch Your Diet and Hydration

Your eating and drinking habits can have a significant impact on your sleep. Avoid consuming large meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime. These substances can disrupt your sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep. Instead, opt for a light, balanced snack if you need something before bed. Staying hydrated is essential, but try to limit your fluid intake in the hours leading up to bedtime to minimise nighttime trips to the bathroom.

5. Stay Active, but Not Too Close to Bedtime

Regular physical activity is great for your overall health, including sleep quality. Engaging in regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. However, try to complete your exercise routine at least a few hours before bedtime. Exercising too close to bedtime can energise your body and make it harder to relax.


Improving your sleep hygiene is a journey that requires commitment and consistency. By following these five steps you can create an environment and routine that promotes restful sleep. Remember that everyone's sleep needs are unique, so be patient and adjust these strategies as necessary to find what works best for you. With better sleep hygiene, you can wake up each day feeling more refreshed, focused, and ready to tackle life's challenges. Sweet dreams! 💤


Author: Gabriela Damaceno, Journalist

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