Napping during the day
Napping during the day is a killer for any good sleep schedule. While there are benefits to midday naps, it’s best to avoid them entirely if you’re struggling to maintain a peaceful slumber. Sleeping too much while the sun’s still up can confuse your internal body clock, leaving you feeling groggy and disorientated when you wake, unable to sleep when the nighttime rolls around.
Sleeping somewhere that’s too hot
Although it’s tempting to crank the thermostat up for those cold winter nights – it could be detrimental to your health. Sleeping in a room that’s too hot can lead to excessive sweating, leaving you dehydrated when you awake from your disturbed slumber. Eventually, this sleep deprivation and dehydration will catch up with you.
Drinking alcohol before sleeping
Many like to have a nightcap before they hit the hay, claiming it helps them drift off into a peaceful doze. While it is true that alcohol can help us to get to sleep, it can also interrupt it. As you’re sleeping, your liver enzymes metabolize alcohol. This leads to internal disruption and, eventually, health issues.
Using your bedroom for different purposes
If your bedroom serves as an entertainment room, a gym, and an office, you may find you struggle to drift off at night. Your brain is constantly surrounded by stimulation – including when you’re trying to sleep. Transform your bedroom into a sanctuary of sleep by removing unnecessary distractions and watch your sleep patterns and mood improve.
Staying active before sleeping
Working out or doing intense activities before your head hits the pillow is a bad idea. Our minds don’t react well to abrupt change, so going from lifting weights to counting sheep can confuse your body. Swap out your evening routine for something more relaxing, like reading a book or practicing mindfulness.
Eating before you sleep
Eating before you sleep isn’t only bad for your sleep cycle – it’s also bad for your health. When you eat late at night, you’re acting against your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Instead of being burnt off with activity, any late-night calories end up being stored as fat. Over time, this can eventually lead to obesity and diabetes.
Not having a sleeping schedule
If you constantly change when you hit the hay on the daily, your body will have no sense of when it’s supposed to start feeling sleepy. Going to sleep at 8 o’clock one night and midnight the next will leave you feeling tired during the day – even if you have a restful sleep.
Drinking caffeine late in the day
Consuming caffeine late in the day can keep you awake until the early hours, sleeping less and giving you less fulfilling slumber in general. Cut out coffee in the evening, or switch to decaf – your sleep and general well-being will thank you for it.
Using your phone in bed
Cell phones emit blue light – the ultimate enemy of restful slumbers. Blue light reduces the production of melatonin, the hormone in your body that controls your sleep cycle. Essentially, staring at a screen into the early hours can make your body think it’s still daytime and prevent you from drifting off.
Smoking a cigarette before bed
We all know that smoking is bad for you at the best of times, but it can be even worse before bed. Many people like to have a quick cigarette before ending their day, claiming it helps them to relax. While this may be true, nicotine is a stimulant, acting in a similar way to caffeine. Cigarettes should be avoided for two hours prior to sleeping.