There are so many benefits to getting adequate high-quality sleep each night, including reduced health risks. If you are struggling to figure out why aren’t feeling the full impact of grade A shut-eye, one of these sneaky habits could be the culprit:
You go to bed with your electronics: Catching up on Facebook or scrolling through Instagram on your iPad will confuse your brain into thinking it’s daytime, disrupting your body’s natural sleep rhythm. Fight the social media temptation and shut down your electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.
You haven’t upgraded your sleep necessities: Beware of having a worn out mattress or keeping an old pillow; back pain and having a dust mite frenzy is no way to perfect sleep. Replace your pillows every year, and replace old, lumpy mattresses when they’ve reached the end of their life cycle–typically every 7 years.
You ate too late: A habit of late-night eating can cause digestion problems that keep you up right when you need sleep the most. Try to eat an early, light dinner if heartburn and acid reflux are a constant concern.
You choose the wrong drink: Going for an afternoon boost or evening relaxation through liquids can the reason why you can’t get to bed. It’s important that you keep track of your insomnia triggers. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks can all work against your sleep goals.
You don’t turn off: Bedtime is the worst time to get stressed about your to-do list. Keep a journal by your bed so you can write down ideas and to-dos, and then let it all go.
You’re a fan of naps: A nap in the middle of your work day or after can make it hard to get to sleep when it’s your real bedtime. You shouldn’t nap for more than 30 minutes and never in the evenings.
Your bedroom isn’t a sanctuary: Loud noises and pets are huge disrupters of sleep. Keep your TV, work, and other distractions out of your bedroom. You want your bedroom to be clutter-free and at a cool temperature.
You have too much energy: Exercise is a great stress reliever and it burns excess energy to help fall asleep faster. In addition, maintaining a regular workout schedule helps your body get ready for bed at the right time.
You don’t wind down: Don’t expect your body to shut down instantly, you aren’t a machine. Add relaxing activities to your bedtime routine such as yoga, a warm bath or a good book.
It’s important to develop healthy sleep habits that feel natural and will stick with you. Don’t feel pressure to change all of your bad habits at once, small changes can have a huge impact on how you sleep. Try keeping a sleep journal, writing down your daily routine will give you an idea of which factors may be holding you back from high-quality snooze!