Believe it or not, you may be missing out on valuable sleep night after night due to mistakes you don’t even know you’re making, such as:
Getting Into Sleep Debt.
Let’s face it – nothing beats a great night’s sleep, and those who think they can catch up on sleep after staying up late or waking up early may struggle with sleep problems due to “sleep debt.”
Sleep debt refers to the effects of sleep deprivation and may result in physical or mental fatigue. However, those who focus on going to bed at the same time each night and getting eight hours of consistent rest will be better equipped to avoid the dangers of sleep debt altogether.
Snoozing After the Alarm.
Adding a few extra minutes of sleep by hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock may seem like a great idea at the time, but this fragmented sleep likely won’t help you become more productive and efficient.
Instead, try to get up as soon as your alarm goes off. By doing so, you can move closer to developing a regular wake-up routine.
Eating Unhealthy Snacks.
Burgers, pizza and other late-night snacks may ease your hunger pangs. At the same time, these snacks could keep you up at night.
Typically, you should try to avoid fatty and sugary snacks before bed. By maintaining a healthy diet, you’ll be better equipped to get the Zzz’s you need consistently.
- Consuming Caffeinated Beverages.
Remember the cup of coffee or soda you decided to drink after dinner? Well, this beverage could come back to haunt you if you consume it too close to bedtime.
As bedtime approaches, try to drink water and decaffeinated beverages. Removing caffeine from your afternoon and evening diet may make it easier to become tired at the end of the day, and ultimately, rest throughout the night.
Using Your Smartphone or Tablet.
The temptation to check your email or text your friends on your smartphone or tablet before bed can be overwhelming. But your mobile device can be bright and distracting, and as such, may prevent you from resting comfortably.
Comparatively, there are many alternatives to using a smartphone or tablet before bedtime. From listening to calm music to meditating in silence, you can put away your mobile device and find other ways to relax prior to going to sleep.
Recent data indicates alcohol consumption before bed can reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep quickly.
Drinking beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages can disrupt your normal sleep processes, but you may be able to replace an alcoholic beverage with a warm glass of milk or tea that will make it easier for you to relax before bed.
Taking Long Naps.
The National Sleep Foundation notes even a 20- to 30-minute nap can help improve your alertness, mood and overall performance. Conversely, a prolonged mid-day siesta may do more harm than good, especially when it comes to getting consistent sleep during the evening.
A short nap represents a great option to help you become more alert during the day. On the other hand, you should try to avoid an extended nap, as this may interfere with your nighttime sleep.
Worrying About Sleep.
The more you worry about falling asleep, the less likely it becomes that you’ll be able to fall asleep without delay.
To avoid worrying about sleep, you may want to consider turning the face of your alarm clock. This will help you eliminate the temptation to look at your alarm clock in the middle of the night and think about how much time is left before you have to wake up.
Also, try to develop a pre-bedtime routine that works for you. Whether you simply lie in bed and stare up at the dark ceiling or read a chapter from your favorite book, you’ll want to do whatever you can to take your mind off of anything that worries you prior to bedtime.
No one wants to go to bed angry. As such, you should try to resolve any conflicts that may keep you up at night.
Anger often leads to poor bedtime habits, but those who devote the necessary time and resources to find solutions to problems may be better equipped to rest easy at night.
Sleeping with Pets.
A recent American Pet Products Association survey showed 62 percent of cats sleep with their adult owners, while nearly half of all dogs do the same. And even though it may seem worthwhile to have your four-legged friend in bed with you, your pet may disrupt your sleep patterns.
Allergies or asthma may keep you up at night if you sleep in bed with your pet. Meanwhile, if your cat or dog gets up in the middle of the night, he or she may wake you up as well.
Take control of your sleep today, and you’ll be able to enjoy ample rest both now and in the future.