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Healing & Well-Being

12 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

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What is Sleep Hygiene?

Strong sleep hygiene means having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistent, uninterrupted sleep.

Practicing good sleep hygiene goes beyond buying a comfortable mattress.

Think of it as your sleeping habits.

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Why it matters?

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Sleep hygiene can potentially improve your ability to fall and stay asleep.

It makes it easier for you to sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up well-rested.

Some of the key benefits of good Sleep Hygiene

  1. Improved mood
  2. Decreased stress
  3. Sharper memory & brain function
  4. Increased daytime energy level
  5. Enhanced immune system function
  6. Better blood sugar regulation
  7. Enhanced muscle repair

How much sleep do you actually need?

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Each individual is unique, so we all have different needs, but this guide will give you a place to start.

  1. Infant (4-12 months old): 12-16 hours
  2. Toddler (1-2 years old): 11-14 hours
  3. Preschool (3-5 years old): 10-13 hours
  4. School-age (6-12 years old): 9-12 hours
  5. Teen (13-18 years old): 8-10 hours
  6. Adult (18-64 years old): 7-9 hours
  7. Older Adult (65+ years old): 7-8 hours

12 ways to improve your sleep hygiene

  1. Soak up the morning sun - Expose yourself to natural light. Spending time in the morning sun can reset your circadian rhythm and tell your brain it’s time to start the day.
  2. Practice regular exercise - Exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  3. Limit daytime naps - Sleeping during the day can confuse your body’s natural clock and make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you must nap, limit it to 20-30 minutes.
  4. Avoid stimulants before bed - Stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can keep you awake and disrupt your sleep. Try to avoid them before bed.
  5. Create a sleep-friendly environment - Ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in comfortable bedding and a supportive mattress and pillow.
  6. Keep a regular sleep schedule - Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s natural clock.
  7. Unplug an hour before bed - Turn off electronic devices like phones and TVs an hour before bed to help your brain unwind and prepare for sleep.
  8. Reserve the bedroom for sleep and intimacy - Avoid working or watching TV in bed. This helps your brain associate your bedroom with sleep and can improve the quality of your rest.
  9. Minimize noise - Use earplugs or a white noise machine to block out excess noise that can disrupt sleep.
  10. Resist the midnight munchies - Eating late at night can interfere with your sleep. Try to avoid eating for at least three hours before bed.
  11. Think happy thoughts - Focus on positive thoughts and experiences before bed. This can help you relax and promote better sleep.
  12. Don’t force sleep (read a book instead) - If you’re not sleepy, don’t force it. Do something relaxing like reading a book until you feel sleepy.

Here are 5 easy ways to unwind before bedtime tonight, perfectly complemented with reading's book, Sleep Psalms. Embrace relaxation and prepare for a peaceful sleep with these simple techniques.

  1. Aromatherapy: Try essential oils such as lavender or valerian using a diffuser or spray bottle or breathing them in directly from the bottle.
  2. Reduce phone usage: Electronic display screens emit blue light, interfering with your body’s natural sleep cycle.
  3. Practice deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help to calm your mind and relax your body, making it easier to drift off to sleep.
  4. Listen to music or a Bible meditation: Listening to calming music or a guided sleep meditation can help to reduce stress and lower your heart rate.
  5. Sip on a cup of herbal tea: Chamomile tea, in particular, has relaxing properties that may help you fall asleep faster.

Get your restful, restorative night’s sleep with Sleep Psalms: Nightly Moments of Mindfulness and Rest.

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