Do you find it hard to get to sleep? There may be some naughty bedtime habits that are preventing you from settling down.
Be sensible! Quit these 13 things and you’ll soon be on your way to a restful sleep.
1. You’re watching things on your laptop or tablet at bedtime
The allure of that next-episode-on-Netflix is great, don’t get me wrong, but screens, especially laptops and tablets are a bad idea. Your poor body will believe it’s still daytime, that bright, extremely close light wreaking havoc on your brain. Artificial light can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycles, so stay away.
How to stop blue light exposure:
Keep away from your screens for 2 – 3 hours before you hit the hay
Grab a book to read, or listen to an audio book if you need entertaining
Use dim lights for night lights
2. Your room is a mess
A messy room isn’t just annoying, it can also cause stress and therefore your sleep can be affected. Research undertaken in New York in 2015 found a link between hoarding and sleep – it was found that hoarders took longer to fall asleep, which would, in turn, lead to tiredness in the day.
Take time in the day to clean up and make sure your space is clutter-free. You’ll be able to relax and fall into a deep, lovely slumber.
3. You keep looking at your phone at night
According to a study by Deloitte, one in 3 British adults check their smartphone at night, after they’ve gone to bed. Just like your laptop and tablet, your phone gives off a light that confuses our bodies.
Try not using your phone for at least an hour before bed.
How to stop staring at your phone
Leave your phone in a different room
Put your phone on flight mode
Buy an alarm clock
4. You’ve drunk too much alcohol
While one too many beers can send you into a deep sleep quickly, that sleep may not be restful. REM sleep can be affected by alcohol – and not in a good way!
During REM, your brain is stimulated and you can dream. It is also thought to be involved in the storing of memories, learning and mood balancing. If your REM sleep is reduced, you may experience drowsiness in the daytime and poor concentration.
Keep to the recommended alcohol allowance to avoid experiencing an adverse affect on your precious sleep time.
5. You’re dehydrated so you can’t sleep
A glass of water just before you go to sleep will help your body replenish lost fluids from the day. It will help your body’s nutrients, minerals and vitamins balance, leaving you feeling relaxed and you’ll be able to sleep soundly through the night.
You should also have a glass when you wake up to help activate the internal organs.
6. You’re too hot
Do you wake up all sweaty and sticky? Turn the temperature in your bedroom down. Check the fabric of your bed linen – avoid synthetics and choose natural fibres.
Cotton and linen will keep you from sweating, so if you’ve been sleeping between polyester sheets, it might be time to make a change.
7. You can’t sleep because you’re hungry
Don’t go to bed hungry! Your brain will stay mentally alert with the hunger pains. Just because you are asleep, doesn’t mean your body is – it needs energy!
Consider a light snack, such as some carrots and broccoli. You could also enjoy some leafy greens or avocado contain high levels of magnesium, which is said to help ease you into a deep slumber.
8. Your partner is snoring or moves too much in their sleep
Whether your partner sounds like a train when they snore, fidgets WAY too much or is partial to sleep talking, sharing a bed can sometimes be tough and ruin your rest. Have a discussion with your partner and work out how to reduce the problems together.
If you’re a coffee or tea lover then you’re probably already aware of the effect that caffeine has on sleep. Most sources suggest that caffeine can last between 3 and 5 hours, so take care to say NO to a cuppa way before bedtime.
10. You’re too stressed to sleep
Try to clear your mind of all those nagging thoughts and worries for the day. Dedicate a stress-free time period before bed. Try reading (a real book, not on a screen!) or a relaxing activity such as knitting.
As tempting as it is to have your pets in the room while you sleep, they could be the reason you’re tired. Whether they’re young and crying at night, snoring next to you or begging for food at 6am, chances are they could be disrupting your sleep. Consider placing a crate in your room so they can be near you, but not in your bed.
12. You’ve eaten fatty foods
Fatty foods, such as chips and nuggets, eaten late at night can lead to a bad sleep. Your body will be working hard to digest all that fat and won’t be resting. Instead of fatty foods, why not choose a small snack instead?
13. You haven’t done enough exercise
Skipped the gym? Don’t! Exercising regularly can help you get a great night’s sleep. Take care not to exercise too close to your bedtime as this will cause you to be too alert to sleep.