skip to Cookie NoticeSkip to contents

Brigham and Women's Hospital is open and seeing patients. All scheduled appointments and procedures will happen as planned on Monday, July 22.

Header Skipped.

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your physical and emotional health. Quality sleep plays a crucial role in boosting your immune system, enhancing your mood levels, and keeping you alert. Getting the ideal 7.5-8.5 hours of sleep each night helps you retain new information, and allows your body to recharge, so you can feel energized and prepared to tackle the day ahead. If you are looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight, a good night’s sleep is essential. Research shows chronic sleep deprivation may alter levels of hormones that affect your appetite and can ultimately lead to weight gain.

Sleep hygiene is defined as a variety of practices that are necessary to have quality sleep at night and in turn, full daytime alertness. You can improve your sleep hygiene by following these helpful tips:

  • Go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day - even on the weekends.
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes close to bedtime.
  • Exercise for 20-30 minutes each day, but avoid vigorous physical activity late at night, which can increase alertness and keep you awake.
  • Steer clear of spicy, heavy, and/or large meals late at night. These foods can cause uncomfortable indigestion and/or heartburn that make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Use your bed for sleep and sex only. This will strengthen your association between your bed and sleep.
  • Adjust your bedroom temperature so that you are cool and comfortable.
  • Establish a relaxing ritual before bed, like reading a book or listening to music. This will create a separation between the stresses of your day and bedtime.
  • If your mind is racing with thoughts, ideas, and tasks you need to do the next day, jot them down before bed. Getting your thoughts on paper will get them out of your mind and help you relax.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, and if necessary wear earplugs to block out noise.
  • Avoid napping too close to bedtime, and limit naps to 20 minutes.

If you are having trouble falling asleep night after night, or if you are always feeling tired the next day, you may have a sleep disorder and you should see a physician.

Learn more about Brigham and Women's Hospital


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH