Quality sleep serves as a natural source of energy and happiness as it also protects our health. However, simply climbing into bed won’t lead to a rejuvenating morning. Your body isn’t a machine that shut down on command, instead the activities you perform throughout the day impact your sleep, especially those leading up to bedtime.
If you’ve been struggling to figure out why your sleep isn’t as energizing as it should be, one of these habits suggests by Pop Sugar may be holding you back:
- Your bedroom remains dark after sunrise: While science says that quality sleep is best achieved in a pitch dark room to allow melatonin to make you fall asleep and stay asleep, the opposite is true for waking up and feeling alert. Your circadian rhythm or 24- hour biological clock needs natural sunlight to help keep you in-sync with your sleep-wake up schedule. Open up your blinds or curtains first thing in the morning and soak up plenty of sun throughout the day.
- You can’t get to bed on time: When you stay up far later than you should, it’s easy to predict a long day ahead of you. Fight the temptation of watching Game of Thrones, checking emails, chatting on the phone or any other activities that will distract you from focusing on sleep. You’ll eat more and weaken you immune system as even more serious health risks pile up from your chronic sleep loss. Additionally, using any of your favorite electronic devices will hinder the production of melatonin, making it harder to fall asleep when you are truly ready. Most adults need about 7-9 hours of snooze each night, including weekends, so set a bedtime alarm to ensure you are always on time!
- You can’t let go of stress and worries: Obsessive negative thoughts not only push your bedtime back, but they diminish the overall quality of your shut-eye, as well increase your risk of chronic insomnia. Take a few minutes to write down what’s on your mind in a journal, and then tuck it away in a drawer to completely move on. Focus on mental exercises, praying and/or what many sleep experts recommend to mentally prepare for positive rest, mindfulness mediation.
- You hit the snooze button 5 times: Setting your alarm early for the purpose of hitting the snooze button works against you in so many ways! You may feel like you are getting extra sleep, but in truth you are getting less as your body doesn’t get a chance to get back into the restorative stage of sleep you are craving. The fragmented shut-eye you receive during this short time has been linked to grogginess, poor cognitive functioning, poor attention span, and trouble recalling specific memories.
- You drank too much caffeine or wine: Alcohol may lead you to believe you get a good night’s sleep as it is a sedative. However, research as shown that alcohol leads to more nighttime awakenings and poor sleep quality. On the other hand, too much caffeine can cause you to fall asleep later than you’d like. Sleep experts recommend cutting off all caffeine after 2 pm to allow the stimulant make its way out of your system.
Changing your daily regimen for better snooze may not be easy, but it’s definitely worth it! 7-9 hours of quality sleep has been linked to better health, a longer life, boosted creativity, and more feelings of happiness and optimism. Enjoy all that a great night’s rest has to offer by tucking in earlier tonight on a high-quality mattress!