Are you getting less sleep at night due to bedtime distractions? It's been medically proven that seven to eight hours of sleep is the ideal resting time for the average working adult. However, distractions before heading to bed or after you have fallen asleep may interfere with your sleep schedule. Therefore, if you've been noticing a lack of energy in the morning, despite the fact that you did sleep more than six hours the night before, then it may be due to other disturbances that you're unaware of. Let's take a look into what some of these bedtime distractions may be.
1. TV, Radio, and Other Devices
Personally, this is one of the biggest habits I just can't break, and of course it is one of the major bedtime distractions. Leaving your TV or radio on throughout the night could disturb your sleep by keeping you up or suddenly waking you up. If you stay up all night flipping through channels without ever going to bed, it could lead to anxiety. One study shows that the sound coming from your TV can cause you to have elusive dreams in association with what's being aired. So, you're practically in a dream state, but awake at the same time and not actually in a deep, relaxed sleep. Other devices that could be a key issue of interference are also ticking clocks, vibrating cell phones, and running computers.
2. Annoying Sleepwear
Some people like to get all dressed up before going to bed. I rather let myself be "free" (we'll get back to this in just a moment)! Did you know that silk pajamas, socks, and bras are some of the most annoying clothing to ever wear to bed? Well, for one, silk pajamas like to slide and crawl up your skin as you toss around and this can be very distracting.Two, socks are nice and cozy during the winter, but during the hotter season you'll wake to sweaty, dehydrated feet. Three, bras are so suffocating throughout the day, and wearing one into the night is just even more restricting. Therefore, experts suggest nude sleeping as the better option because you'll be able to sleep in a cooler environment, which also helps release anti-aging hormones and lower stress levels.
3. Motion Disturbance from Significant Other
Your tossing and turning spouse or significant other could possibly awaken you at night. Crossing paths at night is inevitable, plus, most couples enjoy cuddling as they sleep anyhow. The smallest nudge could be the most annoying sleep disruption. Additionally, maybe the movement is outside the bed, as they routinely get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, or they head down to the kitchen to steal some your favorite cookies (tsk, tsk). Investing in a Tempur-Pedic mattress will lessen the amount of movement you both would have to deal with at night. Also, if your partner is the type who likes to stay up all night playing loud video games and shouting at the TV, then you may just have an issue there. However, it's all about compromising so that both of you will receive the required amount of sleep needed.
4. Eating Certain Foods
Do not consume caffeinated beverages and food before bed. Why? Because caffeine is a stimulant and tends to over-stimulate the nervous system. This will cause you to stay awake and be fully alert. Also, alcohol, fried foods, sugar, and spicy foods may leave you with one of three things: dehydration, energy, or stomach pains. Eating two to three hours before bed may give your digestive system enough time to break down solids and give YOU enough time to release anything, if need be.
5. Attention-seeking Pets
Aww, how adorable it is to hear your yapping Yorkie all night long, barking into the wee hours of the morning. NOT! Pets can be a major distraction before heading off to sleep - especially dogs. Most owners, as I do, enjoy sleeping in the bedroom with their pet. However, pets tend to make noise without any consideration what so ever. Dogs will make loud scratching sounds as they search for fleas. Cats will leap around the room or even on your bed, causing a stir. With that said, it may be best to occasionally kick your pet out and close the door. This will minimize the unnecessary distractions. And, if your dog is a late-night talker, then you may want to invest in a muzzle.
6. Running Washer Machine/Dishwasher
Commotion from your household appliances can be pretty irritating at night. If you live in a small apartment, then it's even worse. Washing clothes or dishes in the dishwasher may not be a smart move right before heading to bed. I did this the other night thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. Both the washer and dryer was on at the same time and drove me nuts. Therefore, choose another appropriate time during the day to get all your machine cleaning done so that you won't have to deal with the rumbling and tumbling sounds during the night.
7. A Worried, Wandering Mind
Lastly, your mind can be your biggest bedtime distraction. When you're stressing or in a state of concern, it's hard to find rest. Worrying about the events that happened that day or things that you'll have to do the next day will only keep you from peacefully falling asleep. A wandering mind will also leave you up doing other things like watching TV or running downstairs to finish off the batch of stolen cookies that were left by your significant other the other night. So, clearing your mind of any constant and reappearing thoughts could lead to complete rest. Maybe calm music resembling nature or the beach would help relax you and your thoughts. But remember, turn off your device before falling asleep.
In conclusion, you should try this exercise. Take a nap in complete solitude (away from devices, pets, children, and your significant other) when you are the only one in the house. Put on your most comfortable jammies and clear your thoughts. Hopefully you'll encounter a different sleep experience than ever before. So, what are some other bedtime distractions that you found hinder your sleep schedule?