Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Practices for Healthy Sleep

Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. How you feel during your waking hours is heavily influenced by how well you sleep. Most adults need at least eight hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Use these 10 sleep practices on a consistent basis to help optimize your sleep:

  1. Stick to the same routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.
  2. Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading or taking a warm bath. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.
  3. Limit daytime naps. Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating short catnaps may help. If you must nap, keep it brief at about 20 minutes or less.
  4. Exercise daily. Regular physical activity can promote better sleep, helping you to fall asleep faster and to enjoy deeper sleep. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of the day but not at the expense of your sleep.
  5. Sleep on a comfortable mattress. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy; most good quality mattresses will last for about nine to 10 years.
  6. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and large meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Heavy foods and big meals late in the day can cause discomfort from indigestion, making it harder to get a night of high-quality sleep. 
  7. Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to meet the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be at a comfortable temperature and free from any noise or light that can disturb your sleep. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers or fans.
  8. Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Avoid bright light in the evening and increase your light exposure during the day. Spending long days away from natural light, such as in an office with the blinds closed, can impact your daytime wakefulness. Bright lights at night, especially from the TV or computer screen, can make it harder to sleep.
  9. Reserve your bed for sleep. If you associate your bed with activities like work, it will be harder to wind down at night. Separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety.
  10. Manage stress. When you are feeling stressed, your sleep is likely to suffer. To help manage stress, start with the basics such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.

Wellness Tips

  • Energize yourself. Plan to be active at times during the day or throughout the week when you feel you have the most energy.
  • Listen to your body when it comes to working out. You are the best judge of how hard and how long you should exercise.

Healthy Sleep Calendar


  • National Sleep Awareness Week (The National Sleep Foundation)

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