What are you doing in the middle of the night? “Staying awake in bed, not sleeping.” Who’s to blame for your sleepless nights? “My awful sleeping habits.” Your poor sleeping habits are keeping you wide awake at night, but don’t stress because you’re not alone in this.
Most people spend time counting sheep at night, but then some break the cycle, and you’re going to be one of them! We’ve put together a list of the most common bad sleeping habits with solutions to break it.
1. Nighttime Snacks
Just when your body thinks it’s about to get some rest, you crowd it with food. Don’t give your body a short notice by eating food close to your bedtime. Your body needs ample time to digest the last-minute snacks. Avoid eating dinner and dessert before hitting the bed. Eating food before bed can cause indigestion and heartburn. If you experience either of those, you can say goodbye to sleep.
Solution: Eat dinner two to three hours before bed. Never eat or drink close to bedtime.
2. Going Overboard with the Nightcaps
A common myth about alcohol is that it helps you sleep better. Researchers reviewed 27 studies and discovered that alcohol doesn’t improve sleep. Their findings: Alcohol affects rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, reducing it. Reduced REM at night may lead to poor concentration, daytime concentration, and sleep deprivation. The deep and restful sleep state that you crave at night…well, for that, you’ve to give up on the nightcaps.
Solution: Limit your alcohol consumption to the early evening or, better yet, don’t drink at all.
3. Exercising Before Bed
But isn’t working out before bed the answer to a good night’s sleep? Light exercise is good, but rigorous exercise before bed is bad. Researchers reviewed 23 studies that examined sleep quality and onset in healthy adults. Their findings: Adults who worked out in the evening fell asleep faster and for longer, whereas adults who performed high-intensity workouts less than one hour before sleeping took longer to sleep, and their sleep quality suffered. Rigorous exercise causes your core body temperature to remain high with the endorphins dancing in your brain and making it difficult for you to doze off at night.
Solution: We won’t tell you not to exercise before bed, but we’ll advise you to perform rigorous workouts one to two hours before bed.
4. Challenging Your Body Clock
Your body clock is going off, telling you to call it a day and go to bed. Instead of listening to it, you challenge it, telling it that you can stay awake for an hour or two and get more things done. Gradually, staying awake past your bedtime will become a habit and result in your health taking a hit.
Sleeping less can increase your risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. However, your lack of sleep isn’t the only thing putting you at risk of developing them, but your poor eating habits are as well. When you sleep less, you eat more.
Solution: Sleep and wake up at the same time each day, including on the weekends, to return to your sleep routine. Sleep 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier.
5. Sleeping with Your Smartphone
Using your smartphone, handheld tablet, or laptop in bed sends your brain a signal to stay awake because it prevents your brain from releasing hormones that induce sleep.
Solution: Avoid taking any type of technology in bed with you. If you need to do something before bed, we suggest a book. Bring traditional alarm clocks back from obscurity to avoid using your phone as an alarm clock.
If we have succeeded in motivating you to break your poor sleeping habits to get a good night’s sleep, start your sleep journey with a brand-new mattress. Every journey needs a new start! Get yours now!