Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Quick tip: Improving your Sleep

Restorative sleep is an essential component of your health. Being rested allows you to pursue meaningful, purposeful occupations during your waking hours. One of the ways that Occupational Therapists address sleep is by educating client regarding sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene involves incorporating habits and practices that allow you to have good sleep regularly.

In order to improve your sleep, work with your Occupational Therapist to implement the following sleep hygiene tips:

  1. Establish a regular routine for sleep and wake times. Having a regular routine helps your body fall asleep more easily.  Your Occupational Therapist can help you with scheduling your activities in order to have a predictable bedtime and wake-up time.
  2. Ensure that your bedroom is set up for comfortable sleep. Your Occupational Therapist can assess your bed positioning and recommend equipment. Also ensure that your bedroom is dark and quiet.
  3. Participate in a relaxing activity before bed.  This can involve reading, listening to soothing music, taking a warm bath or practicing a relaxation exercise.  Avoid television, smart phone or computer screens before bed.  Your Occupational Therapist can help you establish a relaxing routine or introduce you to a relaxation exercise.
  4. Avoid naps during the day.  Naps can make it harder to fall asleep at bedtime.  Work with your Occupational Therapist to establish rest times throughout the day so that you can make it to bedtime without sleeping.
  5. Develop an exercise routine.  Doing exercise earlier in the day can make your body ready for sleep in the evening.  Your Occupational Therapist can help you identify appropriate exercise given your abilities.

Written by Sarah Good, O.T. Reg (Ont).  Sarah Good is an Occupational Therapist who works with clients of all ages in Ottawa, Ontario.  She can be reached at 613-715-3550 or

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