(WellnessPursuits.com) – 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 turn out to be.
If you have trouble going to sleep and/or staying asleep, you may be making some of these common mistakes before bedtime.
- An Inconsisent Sleep Schedule. One thing that you may not know is that if you go to sleep at different times throughout the days of the week – more than 30 minutes to an hour difference – your body clock can become really whacked out.
- 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.
- 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.
- Try to stay away from TV and other electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
- Nighttime 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’re 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. Bummer. There go the cookies!
- Taking a Long Nap. Naps are really good for you, but long naps confuse your body and you’ll want to stay up past your normal bedtime. Try to nap for only 30 minutes to an hour and it will renew you for the rest of the afternoon and still allow you to get a good night’s rest.
- 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 won’t really be waking up until a later time anyway, set your alarm for that time. You’ll 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 body and brain will be happier. Night, night. Turn out the light; shhhh; sleep tight…
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