Wellness tip: Healthy sleep habits, healthy you

Burning the candle at both ends? Research says poor sleep habits could cost your health.

The term “beauty sleep” may sound like just a posh way to refer to a good night of rest, but the origins of this idiom actually relate to the restorative health benefits of getting quality shut-eye. These benefits go beyond a physical sense of well-restedness to include improved mental processing, weight management, a stronger immune system, reduced stress and improved mood1. Consistently getting enough sleep could even lower a person’s risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and anxiety2.

There are many factors that could impact someone’s ability to sleep, and they vary from person to person. Some of them are simply demographic, while others are occupational or socio-economic. Some are preventable, like late-day consumption of caffeine or alcohol, while others are caused by sleep disorders, underlying health issues, or chronic stress and anxiety. In a 2017 study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers Nicola Magnavita and Sergio Garbarino suggest loneliness could lead to problems sleeping, as well3.

“In the complex relationship between wellbeing, health and productivity, sleep impairment can act as a moderator,” Magnavita and Garbarino wrote. “Sleep disturbances may be both the cause and the consequence of reduced wellbeing and may therefore set up a vicious circle with relevant consequences for productivity and, in the longer term, the safety and health of workers.”

Taking steps to regain control of your sleeping habits could help break this cycle and set you up mentally and physically for better health and wellbeing. The National Institute of Health’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provides several tips for individuals looking to improve their sleep1:

  • Establish a consistent schedule for waking and sleeping
  • Avoid exercising a few hours before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine later in the day, and alcohol right before bed
  • Get in the swing of a relaxing before-bed routine, such as a warm bath, reading, or something else you find calming
  • Avoid bright lights and loud noises (i.e. from the TV, computer or phone) in the bedroom

For those who have tried these tips and still have trouble falling or staying asleep, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed common sleep disorders on its website.

In the end, research has drawn a clear line connecting healthy sleeping habits with healthy people, and vice versa. If you feel that you could be getting better sleep, try implementing small changes to your morning and nighttime routines to determine what works best for you. Or meet with a WellSpark Health Coach to find some strategies to improve your sleep habits.


[1] Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). “Healthy Living: Get Enough Sleep.” US Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed April 15, 2024, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationships/get-enough-sleep.

[2] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.” Accessed April 15, 2024, from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/health-information/public-education/brain-basics/brain-basics-understanding-sleep.

[3] Magnavita, Nicola, and Sergio Garbarino (November 2017). “Sleep, Health and Wellness at Work: A Scoping Review.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 14, No. 11, 6, p. 1347. Accessed April 15, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111347.