Strategies For Sleep

Maximising the bedroom environment

Creating a comfortable environment for sleeping is a key factor to improve sleep quality. Reduction of noise and lights were found to promote sleep at night [2][3]. Make sure your bedroom environment is relaxing and soothing by setting a right temperature and keep it quiet and dark [2]. Calming decoration, relaxing aroma and appropriate mattress may also help with your sleep [4].

These have been broken down into: Slight, Sounds, Sensations, Smell, Taste, Touch, Thoughts and Track.


  • Sensor light for when you need to go to the bathroom or to reduce fear
  • Battery operated candle
  • Stop bright light coming in that hits directly on your face. (this has helped reduce my headaches)


  • Relaxation music
  • Guided meditation When I can’t sleep I use a guided meditation. This helps me to slow my breathing and heart rate down which is usually elevated by the stress of not sleeping. Find one that you like for the next time you can not sleep – they can vary in length, sounds and tone of voice.
  • Keep headphones in your bedside table if you need to listen and drown out background noise. Or to avoid waking another.
  • Sleep music: Each night I listen to sleep music including rainforest music. If you have a google home device you can schedule this music through Spotify to stop at a certain time. Which is important when you need to start getting up.
  • Sounds: Put your phone on sleep – do not disturb function the time you plan to sleep. (you can still allow important calls to come in through selecting these contacts as favourites in your phone- all phones are different so double check settings)
  • Your alarm: It’s important that you don’t startle yourself to wake. This can result in additional stress. My alarm is a song that has pleasant memories attached to it. This song starts soft and gradually gets louder.


  • Shower: I shower before bed it helps my muscles relax
  • Stretch: Before bed do some light stretches
  • Pain: Keep pain medication next to the bed with a snack to take it with.
  • Prop: You can put your legs up against a wall and allow the blood to circulate back to your heart.
  • Posture: Are you sleeping in an appropriate posture. Click here to watch a youtube video that helped reduce my neck pain.
  • Temp: Get the temperature sorted. I love my hot water bottle!


  • Essential Oils –Sleep blends are helpful. These can be purchased from the pharmacy or your local $2 shop. (make sure not to use mint or peppermint as these are stimulating fragrances that will keep you up!)
  • Lavender, geranium and ylang ylang to promote relaxation and encourage a restful night’s sleep


  • Hot chocolate or warm milk before bed helps
  • Avoid caffeine after 4pm
  • Set a limit to your caffeine consumption


  • Textures: choose clothing that you like.  I love to wear multiple layers with a hoodie on top. I feel cosy and safe.
  • Choose bed sheets that you like the sensation of. Smooth, rough?


  • Keep a book and pen next to your bed to scribble ideas out of your mind
  • Doodling before bed to free you from thought


  • Track your sleeping pattern. This helped me work out an optimal time I must go to bed each night.
  • Track your alcohol consumption
  • Track your exercise patterns

Now it’s your turn!

Sensors That Help Me Sleep

Here is my example

Sensors That Help Me Sleep Example


[1] Dhand, R., & Sohal, H. (2006). Good sleep, bad sleep! The role of daytime naps in healthy adults. Current opinion in pulmonary medicine12(6), 379-382. doi: 10.1097/01.mcp.0000245703.92311.d0

[2] Koch, S., Haesler, E., Tiziani, A., & Wilson, J. (2006). Effectiveness of sleep management strategies for residents of aged care facilities: findings of a systematic review. Journal of clinical nursing15(10), 1267-1275. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01385.x

[3] Xie, H., Kang, J., & Mills, G. H. (2009). Clinical review: The impact of noise on patients’ sleep and the effectiveness of noise reduction strategies in intensive care units. Critical Care13(2), 208. doi:10.1186/cc7154

[4] Lee, H., & Park, S. (2006). Quantitative effects of mattress types (comfortable vs. uncomfortable) on sleep quality through polysomnography and skin temperature. International journal of industrial ergonomics36(11), 943-949. doi: 10.1016/j.ergon.2006.07.007


Published by OT Trauma Tools

Founder Mental health Advocate; Phd Candidate; Occupational Therapy Teacher and Researcher Australia “As an occupational therapist diagnosed with BPD I will use this page to share about the various interventions and strategies that are helpful to those with BPD. I will also share about the positive and sometimes challenging approaches that health professionals have used in my treatment in emergency, inpatient, outpatient and community settings. I hope that by sharing my lived experience I can help improve the experience of those struggling to understand Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD) and also support those living with BPD and other mental health challenges Most importantly we will share how occupation can powerfully help change lives!" Laura

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