5 Daily Habits That Are Disrupting Your Sleep!
We all feel like we could use a bit more sleep, some nights more than others. Often the need to get good sleep can feel like a burden that is dragged throughout the day and then the one following. Similarly, we all know and enjoy the feeling after taking what seems like the perfect nap. The nap that gives us the extra push of energy we use to carry out our day. What if we could feel this extra push of energy everyday by just adjusting 5 habits? Common issues in getting quality and adequate sleep can be relieved a great deal with just a few daily tasks.
5 Daily Habits of Poor Sleep Hygiene!
1. Engaging with electronic devices before bed
Light exposure from our tablets and smartphones before bed time is not conducive to preparing our body for a good night’s rest. This light exposure, specifically that of the blue light from devices, keeps our brain thinking it is daytime and therefore reduces the urge to sleep. With the blue light of these devices tricking our brain into staying up, it actually takes a while to fall asleep even after putting down your device. Scientist and experts suggest avoiding engaging with electronic devices and other screens at least an hour before bed to help fall asleep faster.
2. Using the bed for other things besides sleep
The bed and bedroom should be a space reserved primarily for resting and other activities such as sex. Using the bedroom as a space for many other activities makes it less assuring for our brains and bodies to recognize it as a space to rest. Limiting this space to a place of quiet and comfort can help prepare our minds and bodies for bed quicker by establishing this connection between the bedroom and sleep.
3. Using stimulants during late evening hours
A morning cup of coffee or a mid-day cigarette are common habits people find themselves engaging in daily. While most people understand these substances are stimulants, they often fail to realize how long their affects can last. Caffeine and nicotine can have lasting effects that can last even longer in the body after they are no longer felt. For such reasons it is best to avoid these stimulants in the evenings hours of the day leading into the night. Falling asleep easier and feeling more rested in the morning may be followed by this slight adjustment. For more information on caffeine and sleep, this article can be insightful: https://ouraring.com/blog/how-caffeine-impacts-sleep/
4. Going to bed with racing thoughts
The mind and body are like the perfect duo, they work together frequently and often have each other’s back. Going to sleep is the one time during your day when your mind gets to be completely shut off from your thoughts and is allowed to rest and restore. Having a lot of racing thoughts while lying in bed will likely push back your body’s urge to sleep because it is so focused on all those thoughts. Overthinking, worrying, and behaviors of that nature should avoid the bedroom before bed time since it will not help ease the body into a resting mood. A helpful tip for this habit would be to practice a method of relaxation before going to bed. This article on meditation may be useful to get you started: https://ouraring.com/blog/how-meditation-helps-sleep/
5. Inconsistent sleep schedule
Like many things, consistency is key. Often many people will take advantage of the weekends to get adequate and sometimes extra sleep to make up for sleep lost during the week. I am one of these people too and identifying the issue with this is the first step in making a change for good. Sacrificing sleep throughout the weeknights and making up for it during the weekends can be more confusing and more work for our bodies than helpful. The constant and drastic changes in sleep between the weekdays and weekends can be a lot for our bodies to keep up with and sticking to a consistent schedule may make it easier for our brain and body to agree on an appropriate time for bed.
Although sleep is necessary and usually looked forward to in our everyday lives, it can be disrupted often by the accumulation of habits of poor sleep hygiene. Since these habits are those that we stick by daily, it can seem daunting to tackle them all. It’s key to remember though, that like other habits, these won’t be easy to break and certainly won’t occur overnight. Since these habits are ones of everyday occurrence, adapting them to a healthier routine for our sleep can be taken one day at a time!
If any or all of these 5 habits are a part of your daily life, you may have just discovered one way to get closer to feeling more rested in the morning and overall. Addressing these habits of poor sleep hygiene may be easier when you have someone keep you accountable and resources to help you on your journey. me&my wellness can provide with you the proper guidance you need to taking steps toward better sleep and a healthier life!
Blog written by Mabelin Garcia
- Department of Health & Human Services. (2018, May 2). Teenagers and sleep. Better Health Channel. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/teenagers-and-sleep
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, March 18). Sleep and mental health. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health
- Walker, M., PhD. (2018). Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. Scribner.