Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining physical health, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. However, many people struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up feeling refreshed. If you’re looking to improve your sleep quality, here are 12 science-backed tips to help you get the restful sleep you need.

Sleep Insomnia Mind Health

1. Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends, helps regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally[1].

2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Develop a calming pre-sleep routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down[2].

3. Optimize Your Sleep Environment

Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool, with a comfortable mattress and pillows. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to minimize distractions[3].

4. Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The blue light emitted by electronic devices can interfere with your body’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Avoid using smartphones, tablets, or computers for at least an hour before bedtime[4].

5. Get Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity can improve sleep quality and duration. However, avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as it may have a stimulating effect[5].

6. Manage Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Practice stress-management techniques like mindfulness, journaling, or talking to a therapist to help calm your mind before bed[6].

7. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Close to Bedtime

Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in your system for hours, making it harder to fall asleep. Similarly, while alcohol may initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night. Limit consumption of both in the hours leading up to bedtime[7].

8. Expose Yourself to Natural Light During the Day

Sunlight exposure during the day helps regulate your body’s circadian rhythm, making it easier to feel alert during the day and sleepy at night[8].

9. Don’t Stay in Bed If You Can’t Sleep

If you find yourself tossing and turning, get out of bed and engage in a calming activity, like reading or listening to soothing music, until you feel sleepy. This helps associate your bed with sleep, rather than frustration[9].

10. Be Mindful of Napping

While short power naps can be beneficial, long or late afternoon naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you must nap, keep it short (20-30 minutes) and avoid napping late in the day[10].

11. Maintain a Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can promote better sleep. Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods close to bedtime, as they may cause discomfort or indigestion[11].

12. Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

If you consistently struggle with insomnia, CBT-I, a form of psychotherapy, can help you identify and change thoughts and behaviors that interfere with sleep[12].

Implementing these science-backed strategies can significantly improve your sleep quality, leading to better overall health and well-being. Remember, everyone is different, so it may take some experimentation to find the combination of techniques that work best for you. If sleep problems persist, consult with a healthcare professional to rule out underlying medical conditions.

Sleep Resources


  1. Cappuccio, F. P., D’Elia, L., Strazzullo, P., & Miller, M. A. (2010). Sleep duration and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Sleep, 33(5), 585-592.
  2. Irish, L. A., Kline, C. E., Gunn, H. E., Buysse, D. J., & Hall, M. H. (2015). The role of sleep hygiene in promoting public health: A review of empirical evidence. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 22, 23-36.
  3. Caddick, Z. A., Gregory, K., Arsintescu, L., & Flynn-Evans, E. E. (2018). A review of the environmental parameters necessary for an optimal sleep environment. Building and Environment, 132, 11-20.
  4. Shechter, A., Kim, E. W., St-Onge, M. P., & Westwood, A. J. (2018). Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 96, 196-202.
  5. Kredlow, M. A., Capozzoli, M. C., Hearon, B. A., Calkins, A. W., & Otto, M. W. (2015). The effects of physical activity on sleep: a meta-analytic review. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 38(3), 427-449.
  6. Morin, C. M., Rodrigue, S., & Ivers, H. (2003). Role of stress, arousal, and coping skills in primary insomnia. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(2), 259-267.
  7. Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine effects on sleep taken 0, 3, or 6 hours before going to bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 9(11), 1195-1200.
  8. Figueiro, M. G., Steverson, B., Heerwagen, J., Kampschroer, K., Hunter, C. M., Gonzales, K., … & Rea, M. S. (2017). The impact of daytime light exposures on sleep and mood in office workers. Sleep Health, 3(3), 204-215.
  9. Lichstein, K. L., Taylor, D. J., McCrae, C. S., & Thomas, S. J. (2010). Insomnia: epidemiology and risk factors. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth, & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (5th ed., pp. 827-838). Elsevier.
  10. Dhand, R., & Sohal, H. (2006). Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine, 12(6), 379-382.
  11. St-Onge, M. P., Mikic, A., & Pietrolungo, C. E. (2016). Effects of diet on sleep quality. Advances in Nutrition, 7(5), 938-949.
  12. Trauer, J. M., Qian, M. Y., Doyle, J. S., Rajaratnam, S. M., & Cunnington, D. (2015). Cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine, 163(3), 191-204.