If you have trouble sleeping at night or falling asleep, it may be due to some of these 15 bad habits. Let’s see how exactly they can affect your sleep schedule and how you can fix it in no time.
1. You’re an inconsistent eater
Inconsistent diet plans can affect your health in several different ways. One of the negative influences of it can be having a bad sleep schedule. So, if you eat a healthy and well-balanced dinner around 8 pm but then indulge in happy hour past midnight, there’s going to be more damage done than just to your diet. Studies have shown that inconsistent eating habits, especially late at night, can have negative effects on your sleep. It’s okay to have dinner later in the evening, but try to stick to that plan every day. The key element here is consistency.
2. Your mouth is minty fresh
Believe it or not, the toothpaste that you use to brush your teeth before going to bed can also negatively affect your sleep schedule. Now, we’re not saying “Ditch brushing your teeth before going to sleep altogether”. However, you might want to consider trying out new toothpaste. The studies have suggested that peppermint scent in the toothpaste actually stimulates your brain and makes you feel more awake. So, what are the alternative options you can try? For example, you can try sweet flavours such as bubble gum or strawberry or some other sweet flavour instead.
3. You love a good book
You may have heard people say that switching a late night TV time with a good book is a great way to fall asleep faster. Actually, it’s completely opposite. Research shows that activities that are intellectually demanding and awaken the feeling of excitement before bed can result in poor quality sleep. So, if you do want to read something before going to sleep, don’t read history tomes or tearjerkers. Instead, opt for a light read such as entertainment or sports magazines.
4. You smoke before bed
You may feel like lighting a cigarette can help you calm your nerves and fall asleep faster, but that’s as far away from the actual truth as it can be. Nicotine found in the cigarettes is a depressant, but it’s also a well-known stimulant. As it turns out, it’s the nicotine that will end up making it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Giving up on cigarettes altogether is a tough journey. Quitting overnight is usually not an option for many people. However, if you want to fix your sleep schedule, you can start slow and at least cut the cigarettes before going to bed.
5. You splash cold
When you wash your face in the evening and before going to bed, do you use warm or cold water? If you use cold water, this may be one of the reasons why you can’t fall asleep. Yes, using colder water may be more beneficial for your skin. However, at the same time, it stimulates your body and releases energy in order to keep your body warm and it makes you stay awake longer. So, the best solution is to wash your face with lukewarm water before going to bed and use the cold water in the mornings instead when you need to help yourself wake up.
6. You charge up at night
You can stop bringing your phone to the bed with you and even stop using the electronics for a whole hour before going to sleep. So, why is it that you still can’t fall asleep? Well, the chances are that you charge your devices overnight. Even something as small as the light indicating that your phone is being charged can disrupt your sleep. This is especially an issue with blue lights. They can negatively affect your circadian rhythm. So, you can start charging your phone in the morning as you are getting ready instead.
7. You get warm and cosy
You may think that cosying up in the blankets at night and making sure you’re warm is the best way to fall asleep faster. On the contrary, the increased body temperature can actually end up disrupting your sleep even more. So, try to lighten the load of your blankets and pillows and lower the sleeping temperature. Don’t go too low though. You don’t want to freeze yourself either.
8. You don’t invest in high-quality bedding materials
Speaking of warmth in the bed, the bedding materials can also contribute to this issue. It’s tough to find a middle ground between not too warm and not too cold when you’re trying to sleep. However, high-quality bedding can solve that problem. If there’s one thing in the household that we should splurge on, it’s definitely bedding. After all, we’re talking about getting enough and quality sleep that affects both your physical and mental health. So, invest in some new mattresses, soft silky pillowcases, and kids sheets so that the whole family can enjoy some deep and quality sleep at night.
9. You love lemons
Tea with lemon may sound like such a great beverage option before going to bed. You may like the idea of cosying up with a cup of tea and a book by your side. However, the lemon in tea may just be the last thing you want to consume before going to sleep. Lemon, just like other citrus fruits, will boost your mental stimulation and actually increase your energy levels. That is the last thing you need before going to bed. So, in order to fall asleep faster, avoid citrus fruits before going to bed. Also, avoid using lemon-scent detergents for sheets.
10. You pop meds before bed
Most people find it easier to remember to take their meds before going to sleep. This also includes taking vitamins and other supplements. However, most of these have been shown to have effects on your sleep, so talk to your doctor and see if you can switch to taking your meds in the morning instead.
11. You don’t DVR
We all love to binge watch some of our favourite shows before going to bed but being exposed to the TV for an hour or even longer before going to sleep, can affect our sleep schedule. So, if you want to minimise TV interference and light exposure, simply DVR your favourite shows and then watch them later throughout the day.
12. You Over-Exhaust Yourself
It is a common misconception that the more tired we are the faster we will fall asleep. As you can guess, this is completely wrong. You can, in fact, be too tired to fall asleep.
So, what can you do if you come home absolutely exhausted? Don’t go to bed immediately. Try to stay up a bit longer. Spend some time with your family or read something and soon you will naturally fall asleep without even trying.
13. You Go to Bed Hungry
We already mentioned that eating late at night may cause issues for you when you try to fall asleep. However, going to bed with an empty stomach is not good either.
If you feel hungry before going to bed, try eating something that will subside your hunger at least till you wake up. Just don’t go for ordering pizza or something like that. Have healthy snack and drink some water and you can go to sleep immediately.
14. You Exercise Late at Night
Contrary to what many may believe, exercising late at night is not a good option if you want to fall asleep faster. As a matter of fact, late night exercises can completely disrupt your sleep. Your body temperature naturally decreases at night when it’s time to go to bed. However, exercising will increase your body temperature and make you feel more awake.
So, if you want to stay physically active on a daily basis, you can either try exercising in the morning or throughout the day. Avoid exercising late at night if you want to fall asleep faster.
15. You Allow Pets to Share Your Bed
Lastly, we all love to cuddle our pets and spoil them by bringing them in bed with us. However, the research shows that this bad habit may actually be affecting our sleep schedule too. As you may know, animals have a completely different sleep cycle than us. This causes them to wake up in the middle of the night feeling super hyperactive and they often disrupt our sleep.
We know how tough this decision may be for you, but if you want to get more quality sleep at night, you need to stop bringing your pet to the bed with you. You will be doing them and yourself a huge favour.
All things considered, these 15 bad habits can all simultaneously affect your sleep. However, if you take it step by step you can easily switch these habits and start having better sleep soon.