Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

10 tips for healthy sleep

3 min read

If you are not sleeping well - or long enough - at night, try the tips below to improve the quality of your sleep and to ensure you are properly rested the following day.

1. Regular sleep patterns

Help your body to establish a healthy sleep routine by going to bed and waking up around the same time each day.

2. Spend the right amount of time in bed

While 8 hours of sleep is recommended, some people require more and some require less. Try to limit your time in bed to no more than 8.5 hours. So if it takes you a long time to fall asleep, try going to bed later.

3. Bed is for sleep, not screens

Computers, phones and TV can disrupt your sleep. Your mind needs to associate being in bed with sleeping rather than watching TV or using your computer. Don’t stay in bed if you’re wide awake.

4. Relax before bed

Find a relaxation technique that works for you. Try to establish a buffer zone before bedtime where you’re not trying to solve any problems or thinking about tomorrow, but just relaxing and preparing for bed. Try to avoid using your computer and smartphone during the bedtime buffer zone.

5. Ensure you are comfortable in your bedroom

Your room should be the right temperature, as well as quiet and dark. Make sure you have comfortable bedding, and try to keep known stressors out of your bedroom.

6. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes

These substances have far reaching impacts on your physical and mental health, with disrupted sleep being just one. While alcohol might make you sleepy initially, it tends to disrupt your sleep cycle, leading to poorer quality sleep. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can also prevent you from sleeping.

7. Don’t nap

Unfortunately, sleeping during the day will make it more difficult to nod off at night time. If a nap is really necessary, try and limit the duration to half an hour and make sure you’re up for at least 4 hours before going back to bed.

8. Try not to clock watch

If you can’t sleep, checking the time heightens your anxiety about not sleeping. If possible take the clock out of your room.

9. Try to avoid sleeping tablets

Sleeping pills don’t address the cause of your insomnia and won’t help you long term. Sleeping pills should only be prescribed by a trusted doctor who fully understands the reasons why you might be struggling to get good quality sleep. Your doctor must also keep a close eye on the use of sleeping pills while they are being taken as they are addictive.

10. Ask for help if you need it

If you regularly wake up feeling unrefreshed, are always restless in bed, have trouble getting to sleep or find that being tired is affecting your mood, it might be time to go and see your doctor.

Last reviewed: July 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 103 results

Good Sleep Habits

There are many things that can be done to improve sleep. Here are some guidelines for what you should and should not do for a good night's sleep. Many people have trouble with their sleep. If you are one of them, some of these simple things may help.

Read more on Sleep Health Foundation website

Good sleep habits for infants and children

Getting a good night's sleep is important for a child's development. Here are tips to encourage good sleeping habits for newborns through to school age children.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

How to get a good nights sleep | Sleep | ReachOut Australia

Sleeping well is a huge part of feeling well, but getting enough zzzzzs isnt always easy.

Read more on website

Ten Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

The Sleep Health Foundation is a non-profit organisation and Australian public advocate for sleep health and aims to improve people’s lives through better sleep.

Read more on Sleep Health Foundation website

Sleep: An overview | myVMC

Information about sleep, insomnia and other sleep disorders, the science of sleep and how to get a good night's sleep.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Helping your child sleep through the night

Help your child develop a healthy sleeping pattern, sleep longer at night and wake less often. Learn more about how your child can develop good sleeping habits.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Good sleep habits for children with autism | Raising Children Network

Children with autism spectrum disorder need as much sleep as others. Read how to promote good sleep habits so children with ASD sleep and settle better.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Behavioural interventions for childrens sleep problems | Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Behavioural interventions can help infants, toddlers and children to develop good sleep habits

Read more on Cerebral Palsy Alliance website

Sleep & fatigue | Jean Hailes

Insomnia and not getting a good nights sleep can be frustrating and impact on your day to day living and quality of life. Sleep problems can be caused by changes in your daily routine, times of worry, a new baby, shift work, sleep apnoea but the good new

Read more on Jean Hailes for Women's Health website

Sleeping well

Having a good night’s sleep is important for maintaining good health. The body needs the opportunity to recharge from the day’s activities. Experiencing difficulty sleeping, however, is a common problem.

Read more on beyondblue website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo