Eating before bed
Eating hefty amounts before you hit the hay will result in bleary-eyed mornings. Not only does feasting on high quantities of food before bed wreak havoc on your digestive system, but it also makes for a night of broken sleep. Avoid food for around four hours before bedtime.
Too much caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, causing your brain to work overtime. Naturally, chugging down heaps of coffee of an evening is going to keep you up all through the night, leaving you stripped of energy come the morning. Cut out the caffeine around eight hours before you plan on hitting the hay.
Too much water
While you want to ensure that you’re hydrated, you don’t want to overdo it. Drinking too much water before bedtime will result in the constant urge to urinate, causing numerous nighttime trips to the bathroom. Sip a small glass before bed, but don’t go chugging down pints of the stuff.
Going to bed dehydrated
One of the leading causes of poor sleep is dehydration. Staying hydrated is important for your overall well-being, so spending eight hours or more starved of water will only leave you feeling groggy, lethargic, and fatigued. Have a small glass of water each evening before going to bed to awaken feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Using the wrong mattress
Your mattress is important. You spend roughly a third of your life there, after all! If your mattress is old and out of shape, chances are you’ll feel springs and bumps in your back, keeping you awake into the small hours. If you can’t afford a replacement, consider giving your mattress a flip for a better slumber.
Going to sleep stressed
As bedtime draws near, you want to try and relax as much as possible. A failure to do so may mean that your night is plagued with anxiety, preventing you from slipping into a deep slumber. These anxieties will only follow you into the next day, causing a vicious cycle of exhaustion.
Not enough pillows
Depending on your sleeping position, you may need more pillows than you think. While experts recommend just one pillow beneath your head – maintaining a neutral spinal alignment, you may benefit from purchasing a leg pillow. These pillows can help to keep your hips aligned, keeping any aches and pains at bay.
An irregular sleeping schedule
Going to bed at varying times can cause you to awaken feeling fatigued and ill-rested. Try and stick to the same bed time each and every night, ensuring that you get a solid eight hours of sleep. That way, your body will naturally begin to rest at the same time each evening, allowing you to wake up with a spring in your step.
Not giving yourself time to unwind
You need to give your mind some time to unwind before you hit the hay. Otherwise, your thoughts will be running at a hundred miles an hour, causing you to lay awake thinking about all the tasks you have to do the next day. Listen to some music, go for a walk, or read a book between dinner and bed – giving yourself some much-needed downtime.
Working in bed
Your bed should be for sleeping and nothing else. Quickly replying to work emails before you hit the hay will confuse your brain, leaving your body wondering if it’s time to work or time for rest. Your mind loves routine, so ensure that you close your work laptop at the same time everyday.
Napping too much
Try to resist the urge to nap – particularly late in the day. Doing so will make it hard to drift off at nighttime, no matter how many sheep you count. If the napping need is dire, try and keep the doze to a quick 20-minute snooze, ideally in the morning.
Oversleeping on weekends
The weekend is usually a time to indulge yourself. Eating takeaways, going out with your friends, and – of course – sleeping in. However, you may want to consider keeping that alarm on. Sleeping in at the weekend disrupts your sleeping schedule, leaving your body confused and weary when that dreaded Monday rolls back around.
Eating in bed
We’re all guilty of it – munching popcorn as we watch a movie from the comfort of our beds. However, you may want to leave the popcorn in the kitchen in future, as eating in bed can wreak havoc on your body. Not only will it pump you full of carbs, causing your body to work overtime while digesting the food, but it’ll also disrupt your eating habits.
Too much phone time
Strangely, using your phone at night can affect your energy levels. This is because your cell emits blue light – something your brain receives as sunlight. Therefore, your brain will try to keep you awake, believing that it’s time to seize the day. Switch your phone off an hour or two before hitting the hay for a deeper, more fulfilling sleep.
Having your pets sleep in the bed
As lovely as it is cuddling up next to your pooch, your furry pal may be disturbing your sleep, leaving you bleary-eyed come the morning time. They can fidget, dig their claws into your back, and take up a huge chunk of space, leaving you reaching for the covers in despair.
Not using white noise
If you’ve got noisy neighbors or family members, consider playing some white noise as you snooze. These frequencies can block out any outside interference, alongside giving your brain one constant wavelength to focus on. This can help you to slip into a deeper sleep, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and rested.
Too much light
If your curtains are paper-thin, you’re unlikely to get a lot of sleep. Dazzling sunlight – particularly in the summer months – will cause your brain to stir, thinking that the day has begun. Invest in an eye mask to keep any beams of sunlight at bay.
Staying in bed when you can’t sleep
If you can’t sleep, simply lying in the same position is one of the worst things you can do. Instead, get up, grab a glass of water and go to the toilet, then do anything to take your mind off of your insomnia. Take half an hour to read a book or listen to some music, soothing your mind, allowing you to drift off more easily.
Falling asleep on the couch
When dinner is finished and the dishes have been put away, it can be tempting to laze about on the couch, sometimes even drifting off. This is one of the worst things you can do for your sleep, as it confuses your brain when you actually get into bed. Try and go for a quick walk to keep those feelings of post-dinner fatigue at bay.
Watching TV in bed
As tempting as it may be to watch just one more episode of your favorite TV show, the wisest thing to do is to turn your television off – your body will thank you for it. A mix of mental stimulation and bright, glaring lights will severely hinder your ability to sleep, causing you to be bleary-eyed in the morning.
Too many nightcaps
You may think that a nightcap or two helps you drift off. In fact, the opposite is true. After around five hours the alcohol begins to leave your system, causing you to wake up with a jolt. The alcohol also dehydrates your body, leaving you reaching for that cool glass of water in the early hours.
Hitting the snooze button
When your alarm goes off, it’s best to get up straight away. Snoozing it can cause you to fall back asleep, sometimes even into a deep sleep cycle. This may feel good in the moment, but waking up halfway through a fulfilling sleep can actually cause you to feel more tired throughout the day.
Not getting enough sleep
Obviously, you can’t expect to wake up feeling energetic if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Adults need around seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Any less, and you’ll find yourself unable to kickstart the day, constantly yawning until you crawl back beneath your covers.
Getting too much sleep
Strangely, sleeping too much can cause you to wake up feeling disorientated and groggy. This fatigue can cling to your mind throughout the whole day, only being relieved when you place your head back on your pillow. Sleeping for more than nine hours can make it hard to effectively wake up. Instead, aim for eight hours a night.
Sleeping in a room that’s too hot
If you’re sweating on your sheets all throughout the night, you can bet that you’re going to wake up feeling drained, making you tired before the day has even begun. Sweating all night long will cause you to be severely dehydrated, depleting your energy levels in no time flat.
Not getting enough exercise
If you’re finding that you spend most nights tossing and turning, it may be because you’re not doing enough physical activity during the day. Your body simply isn’t tired enough, making it reject rest. Incorporate a 30-minute workout into your day and watch your sleep – and energy levels – improve.
Going to bed hungry
Never go to bed hungry. Doing so will result in your stomach gurgling all night long, keeping you awake with hunger pains. While you want to avoid eating close to bedtime, you can still have a small snack if you feel those pangs of hunger. Opt for cottage cheese or a banana for a deep, relaxing sleep.
Too many carbs
Carbs make us feel groggy, bloated, and sluggish. You’d think that they’d help you slip into a peaceful slumber, but the opposite is true. The more carbs you crunch on during the day means more work for your body to digest of an evening, resulting in nights spent tossing and turning.
Too many pillows
The more pillows you use, the comfier you’ll be, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Using too many pillows can cause you to sleep at an awkward angle, resulting in you awakening with a stiff neck. Stick to two or three pillows for optimal sleeping conditions.
Using a nightlight
Having a constant source of light beaming in your bedroom isn’t a good idea if you’re looking for a peaceful slumber. The light can confuse your body, making it think that it’s time to arise. Instead, sleeping in darkness is advised, allowing you to fall into deeper sleep cycles.
Eating too much salt
Massive servings of sodium will cause you to toss and turn all night long. Eating too much of the condiment can lead to increased levels of snoring and sleep apnea – both of which you want to avoid if you’re seeking a refreshing, deep sleep. Instead of eating salt during the day, consider using other, healthier, herbs and spices for a better slumber.
Not getting enough vitamins
Vitamins are important for a variety of bodily functions – including sleep. If you’re not getting enough vitamins during the day, you may find that your sleep suffers, leaving you in a constant state of fatigue. Look for foods that are high in vitamin D and magnesium to help you drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Taking certain medications
Certain medications can interfere with both your energy levels and the quality of your sleep, resulting in you feeling constantly fatigued. Read the leaflet inside the medication to discover the possible side effects. If your pills are stopping you from drifting into a peaceful slumber, speak to your doctor about alternative methods of treatment.
Sleeping with the window open
Many of us sleep with our windows open, needing fresh, cool air in order to drift off. However, if you live in a particularly noisy neighborhood, you may be better off sleeping with your window shut. Outside interference can disturb our deep sleep cycles, resulting in drowsy mornings.
Skipping the evening shower or bath
Having a relaxing bath before you hit the hay is a great way to wash the day off you. The warm, soapy waters can relax both the body and mind, prepping you for a lovely, deep sleep. Besides, who wants to get into bed coated in the grime of the day?
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. It fills your body with the necessary nutrients and minerals you need to tackle the day, alongside keeping your blood sugar levels on the straight and narrow. Skipping breakfast can lead to days filled with fatigue, trapping you in a cycle of never-ending tiredness.
Not cleaning your teeth
Cleaning your teeth of an evening is a great hack to ensure that you get a great night’s sleep. When done day in, day out, it can prime your mind for sleep, with the action becoming a part of your nightly routine. Besides, sleep aside, it’s always good to practice good dental hygiene.
Not enough sun
Go outside and soak up some sunshine! Not only will it top up your tan, but it’ll also help you slip into a deeper, more effective sleep. Our bodies run on a circadian rhythm – using light as a key indicator for when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be active. Constantly staying in darkness will throw this out of balance, leaving you feeling tired.
Immediately reaching for the coffee
Many of us have one objective when we wake up – drink a coffee before attacking any of the day’s chores. However, you’re better off swapping out your morning brew for a glass of water. Coffee only dehydrates the body, making its caffeine content redundant. Water, meanwhile, will give your body a refreshing burst of h20, priming you for the day.
Eating large dinners
If you’re finding it hard to drift off, it may be due to your dinner portions. If they’re too big, it can take your body hours to process the hefty meal, with your guts gurgling all throughout the night. Cut back on your food intake and relish in drifting off into a peaceful, relaxing slumber.