You may think that this doesn’t matter in the long run, but this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to improve your quality of sleep! Our bodies follow a rhythm called the circadian rhythm which relies on consistency – meaning our bodies are sending us signals of when we should ideally be awake and asleep. If we follow this pattern, we can be more alert and energised every day.
Drinking lots of water every day is extremely important but having a lot before you get into bed can disrupt your sleep – particularly if you keep waking up to go to the toilet!
Alcohol and cigarettes are sleep disruptors. Alcohol is a depressant and tobacco is a stimulant – neither being great for a good sleep. Avoid at all costs!
If you eat a big meal before bedtime, your metabolism kicks in which makes it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Also, a lot of food in the stomach can make us feel uncomfortable which can keep us awake because of bloat. Eating a large meal before bed can also make you gain weight – another reason to avoid it!
Using a tablet or smartphone
This is one of the hardest to avoid because we all love our gadgets and electronic devices! What’s better than reading an eBook or playing a game on our phone whilst tucked up under the covers? We love doing it, but our brains hate it. Electronics stimulate our bodies to the point where it’s difficult for our brains to transition into sleep mode.
Texting in bed
We know we just said no electronic devices but texting in bed deserves it own section. This one is so common and sleep disruptive because we are using an electronic device and texting is a very powerful time vacuum – we can get sucked into deep conversations that sometimes last hours. If you want better sleep, put your phone away!
Just like drinking water, exercising is great for your health and wellbeing in general – but not just before bed! When we exercise just before bed our bodies produce “feel-good” endorphins. The heart and muscles are also stimulated, which can make it hard to rest properly.
Eating spicy and junk foods
Eating before bedtime is never a good idea but eating junk and spicy foods before hitting the hay is even worse for you! Spicy food can increase your body temperature, which causes sleep disruption and speeds up your metabolism. Junk food stimulates more brain waves, which is very disruptive when trying to get a good sleep. The sugar content in junk food won’t help either!
Trying to force yourself to sleep
When you feel like you’re not getting enough decent sleep, you can sometimes feel like you’re forcing yourself to drift away. The reason we cannot fall asleep when in this state of mind is because we become stressed and anxious, which makes it worse. If you’re struggling, hop out of bed and do something to distract you. You will naturally start to feel more tired and will be able to sleep easier.
Getting enough sleep is important, but it’s important to not overdo it. Too much sleep can make you feel groggy and so much worse.
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