Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

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Tips for Improving the Quality of your Sleep

By Elizabeth Lembo, MS, LPC | Clinical Coordinator, Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program


We all need sleep to function, and the quality of your sleep directly impacts your performance, health, and mood. What defines quality sleep? A common recommendation is to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but quantity of sleep doesn't always reflect quality, and the amount of sleep an individual needs varies greatly across the lifespan. Consider instead reflecting on the following three questions:

Investing in your sleep hygiene may help improve the quality of your sleep (and therefore, waking hours) regardless of your answers to these questions.

Insomnia is perhaps the most well-known sleep disorder. Insomnia can occur across one or more of the following patterns: difficulty falling asleep, awaking throughout the night, and early morning wakening. There are other mental health concerns that can impact sleep in similar ways. For example, anxiety can often make it difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep once awake, and some people who experience depression report early morning wakening. The snowball effect of ongoing reduced sleep, known as sleep debt, can amplify brain and body disfunction. A large component of the leading treatment for insomnia (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, CBT-i) is sleep hygiene, a set of behaviors supportive of quality rest and sleep. Below are some sleep hygiene-based behaviors that are associated with increased quality of sleep:

Establish a routine for the end of your day that supports falling asleep. This will look different for everyone but may include:

Create an environment that supports your sleep. There are many reasons why falling sleep is difficult or interrupted. Consider the following:

Know what to avoid. There are many common culprits of sleep disturbance. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, consider the following known disrupters:

If you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep within a reasonable amount of time, get out of bed and try reading, listening to music, gentle stretches, meditation, or another activity you find relaxing until you feel sleepy enough to head back to bed. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience or are concerned about sleep disturbances caused by sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, TMJ, or other concerns. Consider keeping notes or a sleep diary that details hours of sleep, types of disturbances, etc. to share with your provider. Interested in sleep hygiene but not sure where to start? Reach out to COLAP for a free, confidential well-being consultation.


For more well-being related strategies visit the Colorado Lawyer Assistance Program (COLAP) website at or contact us at or (303) 986-3345 to request a confidential, free well-being consultation.