8 Nighttime Habits That Ruin Your Sleep

By Victoria Q

When you get exhausted from being busy the whole day at work, your wish is probably to go back home as soon as possible and get a restful night. Step into your bedroom at 11 P.M only to find out you’re lying on the bed with your eyes fixed at the ceiling. Tossing and turning all night when you desperately want to sleep is an actual nightmare when you’re going to have another busy day at work tomorrow.

This can be avoided when you take a look back at your bedtime routine. There may be some habits that ruin your chances of sleeping soundly.

  1. Getting Less Than 7 Hours Of Sleep

According to Gallup, the average American sleeps 6.8 hours nightly, and 40% of us sleep less than 6 hours a night. We all get busy for different reasons, and it’s easy to find extra time in the day by sleeping less. Unfortunately, the quality of the time we spend in the day is significantly affected by not getting enough rest. Researchers show that adults, even older adults, need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions such as depression, diabetes, weight gain and even car accidents.

2. Using Phone Before Bed

The LED screens of our smartphone release blue light, which can damage vision and restrains the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle. Also, keeping your mind engaged by scrolling through the phone can trick your brain into thinking it needs to stay awake. This makes it even more difficult to fall asleep. You should stop using your phone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime. If you couldn’t resist grabbing your phone, keep it in another room. You’ll be impressed with how much more quickly you fall asleep and how much better you’ll feel the next day.

3. Eating A Large Dinner

Eating a large dinner near bedtime may provoke your risk of acid reflux and indigestion, which can lead to snoring and insomnia. Also, drinking too much water before sleep means multiple trips to the bathroom during the night, which will interrupt sound rest. Eat dinner at least 3 hours before bed. If you get hungry before sleep, stick to something light like an apple, a banana or a slice of bread.

4. Taking Long Naps

We probably feel much more energetic after an afternoon nap. But, anything over 30 minutes or so will put you into a deeper sleep and make it harder to wake up. Hence, you’ll be staying awake during bedtime. Snooze too late in the day may also diminish your ability to sleep at night. If you sleep well at night, it may not be a problem. However, if you are having trouble sleeping, you may need to avoid napping in the midday.

5. Using Bedroom As A Multipurpose Room

Your bedroom should give off a relaxed environment. Your mattress and pillows should be comfortable, as well as your bedding. Filling your bedroom with TV, gaming systems, computers and other gadgets are indeed handy. Unfortunately, none of these will ensure you a better sleep. The screens may be harmful to sleep and if you using them prior to sleep, it will prompt your brain to stay awake. So, ensure your bedroom has good blackout curtains and that there are no distractions.

6. Drinking Alcohol Too Close To Bedtime

Alcohol may cause you to feel a little drowsy, but after a few hours, it acts as a stimulant which increased the number of awakenings throughout the night. Researchers have found that alcohol shortens deep (REM) sleep, which makes sleep less restorative. It may worsen snoring and sleep apnea if consumed near your bedtime. If you must drink, keep it at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.

7. Not Unwinding Before Bed

When you had gone through a busy day at work, your brain will remain active during nighttime especially when the stress rises and becomes cumulative during the day. This cause much harder to fall asleep at night because your brain couldn’t slow down. Take some time to unwind and shift your thoughts away from work can help you fall quiet the brain. Journal writing your thoughts of the day, listening to calming music or doing some slow yoga will help.

8. Exercise Intensely Before Hopping Into The Bed

It is ideal to exercise for 30 minutes daily to keep your body in good condition and eventually will likely ensure a good night’s sleep. Study after study has shown that it can improve your sleep, helping you fall asleep more quickly and have better quality rest. But, doing it right before bed is probably a bad idea. It may raise your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure which makes you stay awake. Try to finish exercising at least 3 hours before bedtime or work out earlier in the day to avoid difficulty sleeping at night.

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