Are You Ruining Your Sleep By Doing THIS?
Written by: Lindsay Sibson
Sleeps 7-8 hours per night. STILL wakes up tired.
Does this sound like you or someone you know?
I can certainly relate! Sometimes I used to wake up and think to myself, “Nope… nope… can I have a sleeping re-do, pretty please? Can we try that again?”
Coffee can only get you so far, but then the absolute tiredness settles in and by late afternoon, you can barely keep your eyes open and focus at work.
UGH – it’s tough. If only we got awards for our ability to daydream about taking a nap.
I definitely would have been the high achiever back in the day – that is, until I took a close look at my habits and sleep behaviors and pinpointed the root of what could be causing my tiredness.
Are YOU ruining your sleep? Let’s find out!
Here are 8 things that you are doing that are ruining your sleep TONIGHT:
|You “Update Your Status” From Between The Sheets
- Looking at your cell phone or watching television at night keeps your mind stimulated and prevents you from shutting your mind down to prepare it for a good night’s sleep.
- FIX IT: Experiment to find what works for you: reading, meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, art…
- Do these activities during the hour prior to bedtime to get yourself ready for sleep.
|You Hit SNOOZE (Or Set Multiple Alarms)
- Waking multiples times in the morning interrupts your circadian rhythm.
- This disrupts your internal clock and determines how your body responds during the day.
- FIX IT: Whether your body wakes up naturally or you wake to an alarm, get up and start your day! This will properly set your circadian rhythm.
|You Take Sleeping Pills
- It is not ideal to take sleeping pills for over 2-3 weeks.
- Consult with your doctor to discuss the pros and cons of taking them long term.
- FIX IT: Try behavioural remedies first, such as the other “FIX IT’s” in this article.
|You Drink Red Wine Before Bed
- The slight benefits of helping your heart are voided by how much wine is messing with your sleep.
- It may cause drowsiness and cause you to fall asleep faster, but it makes your sleep lighter and un-refreshing.
- FIX IT: If you want the best sleep, avoid alcohol altogether. If you do choose to drink, have a glass of wine with your meal and then drink water prior to bedtime.
|Your Sleep With The TV On (Or Your Phone Near You)
- The lights on your TV, computer, phone and tablets (which are LED) block sleep-inducing neurons!
- This leads to sleep deficiencies.
- If your TV is on while sleeping, your body senses the blue light and can make it harder to fall or stay asleep. The volume can also disrupt your sleep if it goes up and down.
- FIX IT: Leave electronic devices outside of your bedroom. Your room should be your sleeping sanctuary! Also consider sleeping with an eye mask and earplugs.
|You Try To “Catch Up On Sleep”
- Most people don’t consistently get enough sleep every night.
- This creates 5-10+ sleep deficits come the weekend. However, it takes more than 1 or 2 nights of sleeping to “catch up.”
- FIX IT: Make it a priority and focus on getting more sleep nightly. Maintain a sleep schedule that allows you to have a consistent wake up and bedtime each night.
|You Sleep With Your Pet
- Pets may move and make noises throughout the night, which can cause you to awaken and disturb your sleep cycle.
- Allergens in their fur can get on your bedding.
- If they hog the bed, it prohibits your natural movements that may occur while you are sleeping.
- FIX IT: Train your pet to sleep in his/her own bed. It may take some time and patience, but be consistent!
|Eating Spicy, Rich, Or Heavy Meals Late At Night
- Your body needs a chance to wind down at night, especially before bedtime.
- When you eat a big meal within 3 hours of bedtime, your body will have to work on digestion instead of preparing you for sleep.
- FIX IT: Drink a sleepy-time juice or make a small snack of whole grain carbs with some protein: Apple with almond butter. Also, stay away from caffeine at night!
Guilty of any of these? I sure am! My dog may be 10 pounds, but she sure knows how to occupy a lot of space on my bed – I’m working on it.
What do YOU need to change? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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