If you’re someone who has no trouble sleeping, you probably take sleep for granted. But for many, it’s not something that comes easily. Sleep mistakes that may inadvertently make the only compound the problem. Instead of starting the next day with a fresh mind, you feel stressed and your energy is low. The fact is, many of the things we tend to do or make a habit of can be sleep disruptors. For instance, that cup of evening coffee you love to have can interfere with sleep because it stays in the system for hours. So is hitting the snooze button as it prepares you for a new sleep cycle that you don’t have time to complete. We already live in a world with increasing competition and distractions that cause sleeplessness. We need to do all we can to make sure we don’t contribute to it and miss out on this essential activity.
Exercise has numerous benefits, and if you can work out 3-4 times a week, there’s nothing like it. However, you need to time your workout sessions carefully to avoid sleeplessness at night. Exercise stimulates the release of stress hormones like cortisol that keep your body alert. It also increases core body temperature that has to drop in order for you to feel sleepy. If you exercise too late in the day, your system won’t be prepared to sleep. Try to work out in the morning or afternoon, so your body has time to wind down.
It’s a common misconception that nightcaps can help you sleep. While they do act as sedatives, that effect usually fades in the second half of the night and sleep gets disrupted. Alcohol is also a diuretic and increases urination, so you’re likely to wake up more frequently to go to the bathroom.
Our bodies function on a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. We eat during the day and sleep at night. When you indulge in late-night snacking – especially on rich, fatty foods – your circadian rhythm becomes confused and sets off a list of negative changes like poor blood sugar regulation that can interfere with sleep. If you must snack, do so on healthy foods like nuts and seeds in small amounts. They’re rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that can be converted into molecules like melatonin, which is a hormone that induces sleep.
If you’re trying too hard to sleep, you probably won’t be able to. Being aware of the time ticking by and knowing you have to wake up in a few hours can leave you anxious and stressed. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something mundane. Just avoid turning on the TV or using your phone as the glare from the screen will only keep you awake.
A regular sleep-wake schedule is one where you sleep and wake up around the same time every day. Doing this trains your body to prepare for sleep and wake up when it’s time to. Catching up on sleep during the weekends is common especially among those who work late or work night shifts. However, it can ruin your sleep schedule, and you should avoid it as much as possible.
Erratic sleep habits do more than prevent you from enjoying proper sleep; they can also be potentially dangerous. According to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, frequent shifts in sleep schedules were associated with adverse metabolic health in women. Meanwhile, Taipei Medical University Hospital found that irregular sleep schedules are linked with a decrease in average sleep time and may also lead to poor sleep quality.
It’s very important to have a bedtime routine as it helps you wind down and sleep. It can differ between people, but some of the more common routines include taking a shower, reading a book and journaling. Sticking to such rituals mentally prepares you for sleep and helps you transition from a wakeful state to sleep.
Your brain produces melatonin once darkness falls, which is what helps you sleep at night. If your bedroom is too bright or there’s light streaming in through thin drapes, you won’t feel sleepy enough. A simple solution is to use blackout shades that you can close when it’s time to sleep. You should turn off the lights in your room as well.
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Watching violent content before bed can infiltrate your dreams, according to a study in the journal Dreaming. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to sleep, but you might get nightmares and wake up feeling a little distressed instead of refreshed. Rather than ending your day with murder mysteries and similar shows, watch something pleasant.
What you rest on can make or break sleep. A mattress that’s too soft, hard or lumpy will compel you to toss and turn at night. Buy a mattress that is perfectly balanced, so you enjoy comfort and support. Nuvanna is all of these things and much more. It’s designed by a mattress scientist with over 20 years of experience in the industry. It features three layers that perform key functions to help you sleep better. The top layer is made of phase-changing gel particles that regulate body temperature to keep you cool. The middle layer isolates motion, so you and your bed partner don’t disturb each other with your movements. The bottom layer provides support to the entire body and aligns the spine in a neutral position.
We can’t function without sleep, and that’s a fact but in today’s world where hours seem so few, getting quality sleep can seem impossible. The good news is that you don’t have to make tremendous efforts – just curb a few common sleep mistakes, and you’ll see a world of difference. You can do more too such as keeping pets off the bed and avoiding long or frequent naps during the day in the days. You’ll be amazed by how much better you will sleep.