Trouble Sleeping? Common Mistakes to Avoid at Bedtime
Posted on Wednesday, October 02 2019 09:06:00 AM in Blog by Teri Mittelstadt
People that have trouble sleeping know that this problem can show itself in a variety of ways. There are times when simply falling asleep is a problem.Other times, the problem will be waking up throughout the night. Some problem sleepers may wake up too early and can’t fall back to sleep.If you are plagued by any of these problems, it is possible you are committing a mistake that is making it difficult to find and maintain sleep.
If you are looking to enjoy a more restful night of sleep, then read on to learn about the most common mistakes to avoid at bedtime.
Late Night Screen Time
Computers, cellphones, and tablets have become such an integral part of our lives that it is often difficult not to interact with these devices. However, if you want to sleep well at night, it may be a good idea to place these devices out of arm's reach before retiring to bed.
The blue light emitted from electronic devices interrupt melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone necessary for controlling sleep cycles. Less melatonin is a direct cause of sleep problems. You should give yourself at least 30 minutes without tech devices before bedtime. Another idea is to designate your bedroom as a tech-free space in your home.
Too Much Light In Your Bedroom
Natural light also plays a huge role in your ability to enjoy a good night of sleep. Light exposure stimulates pathways that exist between the eye and brain that control things like body temperature and hormones. Regulating your exposure to light might do the trick for you if you are having trouble sleeping at night.
Be sure to get the sunlight you need in the daytime hours. At night, keep your sleeping environment as dark as possible. You can use curtains that block light from outside. If necessary, use a sleep mask to avoid stimulation from light that enters the room.
The Wrong Mattress And Pillows
The mattress and pillow you choose to sleep on may be the difference between a good night of sleep and a night of tossing to and fro while sleeping. A mattress that does not provide you with the comfort level you need will interrupt your sleep and cause you to wake in the morning with fatigue and body soreness.
The right pillow is also important to ensure you get the sleep you need. The pillow you choose should provide adequate support to your upper back and neck. The human spine is curved naturally and this support is needed to maintain proper alignment. If you are having difficulty finding a pillow that keeps you comfortable throughout the night, a neck pillow could be a good option.
Irregular Bedtime Routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. A lot of the problems individuals experience with sleep can be solved by simply going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day and night. Maintaining the same sleep schedule will program your internal clock to cause your body to fall asleep and wake up at around the same time without you having to give the subject much thought. If the time you go to sleep changes frequently, you will find yourself unable to do more than toss and turn on many occasions when it is important for you to fall asleep.
Exercise Before Bed
Physical exercise within three hours of bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep once you lie down at night. The extent that exercise will affect your sleep will depend on the intensity of the workout. However, it is best to either schedule your workouts earlier in the day or when you wake up in the morning.
Late Night Coffee Drinking
The stimulant effects of caffeine can last for quite a few hours. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime will likely affect the quality of your sleep. Not only might it be difficult for you to fall asleep, but you may wake up frequently throughout the night. If you want a hot drink at bedtime, try switching to herbal tea or decaf coffee.
A Nightcap Before Bed
Contrary to what many people believe, a drink containing alcohol before bedtime is not good for sleep. While alcohol might act as a sedative for a few hours after it is consumed, alcohol will reduce rapid eye movement and lead to a restless night of sleep. It is also noted that the more alcohol that is consumed, the more pronounced the negative effects on your sleep will become. It is best to stop drinking 4–6 hours before bedtime if you hope to get the best possible sleep at night.
Getting the sleep you need at night will make you more productive in the waking hours and play a major role in keeping you healthy. Avoiding the seven mistakes mentioned above will help ensure you get the sleep you need to function on all cylinders each night.