Sleep can be elusive for some and easy for others but your actions before bed can have a lot to do with your sleep habits and how successful your efforts are. If you have trouble going to sleep and staying asleep every night, you may want to read through these common mistakes to make sure you are not your own worst enemy when it comes to getting a good night of sleep regularly.
- Lack of a Consistent Sleep Schedule. One thing that many people fail to realize is that if they go to sleep at different times every day of the week, more than 30 minutes or an hour difference, their body clock can be very off. This means that if you try to go to sleep earlier one day, your body will be confused and may not let you go to sleep, resulting in less sleep than you planned on. Instead, try to go to bed around the same time every night to develop a pattern your body can recognize.
2. Watching TV or Playing On Electronic Devices. While there are some people that claim watching TV before bed calms them down, TV is more likely to keep you awake at night. For example, how many times have you started watching a movie or show before bed just to get sucked in to the plot. You likely stayed up longer than you planned on originally simply because you were watching TV. If you are someone who likes to have the TV on all night, the light from the TV can interrupt your REM cycle causing you to wake up less than refreshed. Also, if you like to play on your phone or laptop before bed, those devices also act as a stimulant because of the light and the nature of them. You should try to stay away from TV and other electronics of this nature at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
3. Consuming Caffeine and Sugar. This may seem like it is a no brainer type of tip but there are many foods that contain these ingredients that you may not realize. You would not drink any caffeine right before bed but if you have any after lunch, then your body may still feel the effects of caffeine when you are trying to go to sleep at night. Sugar is not as restrictive but it can also disrupt your sleep and help keep you awake so you should avoid it at least a few hours before bedtime.
4. Taking a Long Nap. There is nothing wrong with taking naps when you get the opportunity but you should avoid taking very long naps during the day. The longer the nap, the more you will want to stay up past your normal bedtime. This will result in a sleep schedule that is thrown off and you will be more tired later as a result. If you want to take a nap, try to only take one for 30 minutes to an hour and try to take your nap before it gets too late in the day so it does not effect your nightly sleep.
5. Hitting Your Snooze Button. While you may think that you are getting 5 more minutes of sleep, in reality, you are getting five more minutes of poor sleep. If you habitually hit snooze in the morning and know that you will not be waking up until a later time anyway, set your alarm for that time, get high quality uninterrupted sleep, and actually get up when the alarm goes off.
We hope you’ll find these tips useful and your sleep and your health will be improved. Night, night. Turn out the light; shhhh; sleep tight…