Are you aware of some of the habits that can affect your sleep? Sometimes, even the most ostensibly harmless habits we keep can prevent us from getting a good night’s rest. A good night’s rest helps us focus better, look better and function better overall. So, knowing how important a restful night’s sleep is, let’s look at some of the most common habits that can affect your sleep so we can get the most of our rest each and every night!
Uh-oh, did you know reading is one of those habits that can affect your sleep?! I’m certainly guilty of reading my Kindle when I’m not that sleepy but I had no idea I was making it harder to sleep! The issue with reading in bed is that your body gets used to it, so it’s expecting you to read a few chapters before you go to sleep regardless of whether it was on your agenda or not. If you want to read, do so before you hit the hay and keep books out of bed!
Another common habit that affects sleep is watching TV. I think it’s very common that people either read or watch TV in order to pass time before they get sleepy. The problem with watching TV in bed or staring at your laptop screen is that it can confuse your body’s internal clock. Turn off all electronics when you head to bed and save your DVR’d shows and emails for the next day.
If you’re a frequent late night snacker, it’s a bad habit that can steal your sleep. The snacking part isn’t the bad part, it’s how much you eat that matters. Maybe you ate dinner too early and now you’re famished or maybe you haven’t eaten all day and can’t imagine going to sleep before you calm your rumbling tummy. Sleeping on a full stomach can mess with your sleep cycle so stick to light snacks to ensure you can still have sweet dreams!
4. Working out
I know it’s hard to find time in the day to work out. But for those who go into beast mode late at night, it can affect your sleep! Keep in mind that daily workouts do help you sleep better. But, if you do a rigorous workout routine, try to do it at least 2 hours before you go to bed so you won’t be so amped up from all those jumping jacks and running.
5. Social Media
If you’re one of those people who logs onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or blogs just to catch up and ends up spending hours and hours online, you’re not alone! While those sites are entertaining and so addicting, they can prevent us from getting our Zs. The brightness of our computer monitor can actually stimulate our brain, so give yourself time to like, pin and tweet, then give yourself time to unwind without the all the stimuli.
Another habit that affects sleep is taking in alcohol before bed. Nightcaps seem like a good idea to help you drift off and get into a deep sleep but they can actually do the opposite. Alcohol can help you feel sleepy, but once you nod off it can cause you to be restless throughout the night, so you’re not really sleeping deeply or well. If you like cocktails at night, cut yourself yourself off 2 hours before bedtime.
7. Room Temperature
Keeping your room temperature on the cooler side can help you get a better night’s sleep. Although sleeping in a warm room isn’t a bad habit, it can be something that you’re doing without really thinking about it. As the night goes on and it becomes morning, our core body temperature gradually starts to increase and signals us to wake up. If you keep your room too warm, your body temp can increase and prevent you from having the most restful, high quality sleep.
8. Sleeping with Your Pet
As an animal lover, I know how comforting it can seem to sleep with your pet, but it’s another habit that affects sleep. As adorable as our pets are, I know firsthand how noisy they can be and how they like to hog the bed! Studies show that pets can take a toll on our sleep quality, so to ensure better, uninterrupted sleep, get them their own bed and off your bed.
As much as we like to multi-task while we’re in bed and getting ready to go to sleep, it seems that the only things we should be doing in bed are sleeping and having sex! Try to do all other activities while you’re up and about so your body knows that once it’s bedtime, it’s time for snoozing! Do you have any rituals to get you ready for bed?