Essential Tips for Supporting Individuals with Sleep Disorders

  • Establish a calming bedtime routine to signal the body it’s time to sleep. 
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment with cool temperatures, silence, and darkness.
  • Incorporate aromatherapy and relaxation activities into your sleep routine. 
  • Avoid eating heavy meals late at night and eliminate caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. 
  • Follow a consistent sleep schedule and allow for enough hours of sleep. 

It is estimated that 50 million to 70 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep disorders, and 9 percent to 15 percent of U.S. adults experience insomnia that impacts their daytime activities. Additionally, women are 40 percent more likely than men to have insomnia.

As anyone who has experienced difficulty sleeping can attest, a poor night’s sleep can lead to a host of issues, including fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Those experiencing sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea can significantly impact their quality of life and overall health.

Thankfully, there are several strategies one can implement to help combat the root causes of these disorders and improve sleep quality. This blog post explores essential tips for supporting individuals with sleep disorders and achieving restful nights.

Young woman sleeping soundly on her bed at home.

Establish a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

One of the best ways to prepare for a good night’s sleep is to establish a bedtime routine that helps you relax. Some examples include taking a warm bath, reading a book, or doing gentle stretches.

Relaxation Activities

The key is engaging in activities encouraging relaxation and signaling your body that it’s time to wind down. Avoiding stimulating activities such as using electronics or participating in active sports before bed can also help. Finally, create a comfortable environment for sleeping by ensuring that your bedroom is dark and quiet. A consistent bedtime routine will help your body recognize when it’s time to sleep, resulting in a more restful night.

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Your sleep environment can significantly impact the quality of your rest. Ensure your bedroom is comfortable and conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, quiet, and dark. Invest in comfortable bedding and pillows that support your sleeping posture.


Consider incorporating aromatherapy into your sleep routine with calming scents such as lavender. You may also find that white noise, such as a fan or app, helps you relax and block out disruptive noises.

Free of Electronics

Finally, keep your bedroom free of electronics and other distractions to create an environment dedicated to restful sleep. Avoid using your phone or laptop in bed if you’re having trouble sleeping. Instead, listen to calming music, practice deep breathing exercises, or write down your thoughts before sleeping.

Make Dietary Adjustments

Certain foods and drinks can interfere with sleep quality. Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol in the evening, which can disrupt sleep. Instead, incorporate sleep-promoting foods such as magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, melatonin-rich cherries or bananas, and tryptophan-rich turkey or warm milk into your diet.

Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced, healthy diet can also help promote better sleep. Additionally, avoid eating big meals late at night to prevent uncomfortable digestion and bloating that can interfere with sleep. A balanced diet can also prevent oral health issues caused by sleep apnea.


Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often the initial indication of sleep apnea. Dentists can detect tooth wear, which indicates grinding, during checkups. Tooth wear can lead to tooth breakage, inflamed and receding gums, and an increase in cavities due to the damage to teeth that makes them vulnerable to bacteria that cause cavities. And if you have a missing tooth due to sleep apnea, you should go through a reliable tooth replacement procedure.

Address Underlying Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can be significant contributing factors to sleep disorders. Addressing these underlying issues can help improve the quality of sleep. Consider engaging in stress-management techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Additionally, talk therapy with a licensed professional can help identify and alleviate stressors impacting your sleep.

Young man sleeping at home.

Follow a Consistent Sleep Schedule

It is important to maintain a consistent sleep schedule to promote healthy sleep habits. Attempt to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends if feasible. Doing so helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can result in better quality sleep.

Hours of Sleep

A sleep schedule should also include allowing enough time for sleep. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep to feel well-rested. Make sure to factor in the time it takes to fall asleep and any morning obligations that require waking up earlier than desired.

Sufficient, high-quality sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. For those experiencing sleep disorders, implementing healthy sleep habits can lead to a marked improvement in their quality of life. By establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, following a consistent sleep schedule, addressing underlying stress and anxiety, and making dietary adjustments, individuals can support their sleep health and achieve more restful nights.

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