Abstract The effects of short naps and exercise on the sleep quality and mental health of elderly people was investigated. ‘Interventions’ by short naps after lunch and exercise of moderate intensity in the evening were carried out for 4 weeks. After the ‘intervention’, awake time after sleep onset decreased significantly and sleep efficiency increased significantly, demonstrating that sleep quality had improved. Also, the frequency of nodding in the evening decreased significantly. These results demonstrate that proper awakening maintenance in the evening was effective in improving sleep quality. After the ‘intervention’, mental health and volition and physical health had also improved with improving sleep quality.