14 Sleep Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Made – Picture this: you’re exhausted after a long working day, and the only thing you can dream about is throwing yourself on the bed and blacking out. Not gonna happen! Instead, you’re tossing and turning, trying to find the most comfortable position. Your mind gets plagued with endless thoughts, and even though you’re worn out, sleep keeps eluding you! How come?
The reason might be very simple, your seemingly innocent bedtime habits!
1. Drinking Water
But wait, then why do they keep saying, “drink more water, it’ll make you healthy”? That’s true, your body needs to stay hydrated during the day – but stop “watering” it one hour before you hit the sack. Otherwise, you’ll be bound to make one, or even a couple, of trips to the bathroom, which will rudely interrupt your sleep. On top of that, most people find it hard to fall back asleep after they get up in the middle of the night.
2. Bright Alarm Clock
Avoid gimmicky alarm clocks that “shine bright like a diamond in the sky. “To wake you up, an alarm clock needs to be loud, not bright. Cutting-edge illuminating alarm clocks look fancy and decorate your room, but their light is harmful to your sleep. Your brain needs darkness to reboot completely; that’s why you should opt for regular, simple alarm clocks.
3. Eating Heavily Before Sleep
There’s hardly a person who doesn’t know that eating a lot before going to bed can cause nightmares. But actually, it’s not only about the size of the meals, but also the time when you have them. By eating heavy foods for dinner, you encourage your brain to be more active. That’s why, at night, it can lead to vivid nightmares.
Besides, a hearty dinner disrupts your digestive system, leads to weight gain, and causes problems with your stomach. On the other hand, it’s also a bad idea to eat right before going to bed, even if your dinner is light. Your body will still struggle to digest whatever you’ve fed it. Try not to eat anything 2 to 3 hours before bedtime. And if the gnawing feeling of hunger doesn’t let you fall asleep, choose to eat fruit.
Just like drinking water, exercising is a healthy and effective way to keep your body fit! But… not before going to bed. Quite the opposite: any rigorous physical activity late at night will negatively affect your sleep. Try to exercise at least 4 hours before going to bed. And if you need to relieve stress after a work day, opt for a short stroll rather than running on a treadmill, or going for a long evening walk.
5. Playing with Gadgets
Cut down on your screen time before falling asleep. Not only do gadgets over-stimulate your brain, making it restless, but their screens also emit that infamous blue light. This light suppresses your body’s sleep hormone, melatonin, and alters your internal clock. As a result, your brain doesn’t believe that it’s time to go to bed – hello, insomnia! To avoid this problem, you can wear special glasses that block blue light, or choose a special night mode on your devices. But the best solution is to power down all hand-held screens an hour before going to bed.
Napping is an entirely normal, and often healthy, routine. But if your naps are regular and last longer than half an hour, they can mess up your sleep at night. Statistically, people who like having naps during the day, often have sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. So, unless you need it really bad, avoid napping in the afternoon. And if you do, don’t make it longer than 10 minutes – this is enough time for your body to recharge.
7. Uncomfortable Mattress
By buying a good, high-quality mattress, you literally invest in your bright future. Right, such mattresses usually cost a fortune. But when, in an attempt to save money, you rest on a sloppy mattress, you do yourself more harm than good. An uncomfortable mattress doesn’t let you sleep tight, which makes you irritated and grumpy, and causes all kinds of back and neck pains.
8. Using Sleep Aids
Thousands of people deal with stress and insomnia with the help of over-the-counter sleep aids. However, there are several reasons why it’s not the best idea. First of all, your body will most likely develop a tolerance to sleep medications; and pretty soon, they won’t have any effect on you. Secondly, the day after, you’ll feel tired and sluggish, which won’t benefit your productivity. And finally, after a sleeping pill, the quality of your rest will be much worse than it would’ve been if you’d fallen to sleep naturally.
9. Reading Books
Ah, I see, this one is a shocker, isn’t it? I hear both regular readers and book addicts argue that reading is a healthy habit, and all spheres of your life benefit from it. I can’t argue with that if you don’t mean reading as a bedtime habit. It turns out that reading excites your mind as much as watching a movie or playing a mobile game does. If the book you’re reading is interesting, it’s next to impossible to put it aside. You’re more likely to keep reading until you finish it at the expense of healthy rest. On the other hand, I guess everything depends on how engrossing the book is.
10. Not Having a Sleep Routine
When it comes to sleep, it’s crucial to havea routine and, even more importantly, stick to it. Keep in mind that you’re supposed to not only go to bed, but also to wake up, at the same times every day. The sad truth is that when you have an erratic sleep schedule, it can confuse your internal clock and lead to sleep disorders. At first, it may be challenging to lull yourself to sleep right after you burrow under the covers. But as long as you stick to your sleep schedule, it’ll get easier and easier to black out.
11. Wrong Sleeping Position
You might be waking up with a sore back, red eyes, and a painful neck just because you haven’t found the proper sleeping position yet! By the way, experts recommend not sleeping on your stomach, because it turns out to betoo taxing on your neck and back, leading to poor sleep and the feeling of discomfort during the day. And the best sleeping positions are on your back with a small pillow supporting your knees,on your side with a pillow between your knees, and in the fetal position.
12. Thinking About Work
The majority of people can’t avoid thinking about work-related problems, to-do lists, and bills to pay before falling asleep. Unfortunately, these thoughts usually cause anxiety, which makes the quality of sleep way worse. By all means, avoid stress at bedtime by concentrating on pleasant thoughts and dealing with work-related concerns earlier in the day.
13. Getting Cold
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night because your feet feel like two blocks of ice rather than human appendages!When it happens to me, I find it extremely hard to warm my feet up and fall asleep again. So, if your feet tend to get cold at nighttime, remember to put on a pair of warm socks before going to bed. Alternatively, you can use heating pads. Or do what I do, stick your feet under your dog. Yep he’s up there with me.
14. Drinking Coffee
And last but not least, do NOT drink coffee after 7 PM. I agree, it may sound a bit too obvious, but then you tell yourself that one tiny cup of espresso won’t hurt, and there it goes. . . Unfortunately, sleep and coffee never go hand in hand. This drink is a powerful stimulant, and will keep you energized no matter what.
Even if you manage to fall asleep, your sleep won’t be as deep and restful as usual. Some specialists go as far as to recommend not drinking coffee after lunch! Sleep is extremely important for your body. It helps to restore energy, boosts your immune system, fends off depression, and decreases the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Lack of proper sleep leads to daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate, irritation, stress,and even high blood pressure! And if your insomnia drags on, you can get physically or mentally ill! So, try to avoid doing the things mentioned in this video before going to bed, and you’ll feel way more rested and energetic in the morning and during the next day!
Do you have any tricks to get yourself ready for bed? Share them with me down in the comments.