Bedtime Habits That Aren’t Helping You Sleep

bedtime routineEven though we all know that we need a good night’s sleep, one in three adults in the U.S. don’t, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released in early 2016. While most of us have good intentions to get to bed on time, bad habits before, during, and while you sleep are negatively impacting how you catch some zzz’s.

You’re Using Electronics Right Before You Fall Asleep

It can be hard to put your phone down right before bed, and most of the time we can spend hours scrolling through social media. But, putting the phone down and reading five or more minutes before bed, you’re more likely to have a better night’s sleep. In a study released by the National Sleep Foundation, researchers found that people who used electronics before bed saw a significant reduction of melatonin in their body, a chemical that regulates our body’s sleep patterns. The decreased levels of melatonin in their bodies made it harder to fall asleep, and they were less alert in the morning. Switching out your phone for a book is a quick and easy way to increase your chances for a better night’s sleep.

You’re Drinking Caffeine Within 3 Hours of Sleeping

Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it hard for you to fall asleep, so try to make your last cup more than three hours before bedtime. If you’re looking for a warm drink before bed, try our lemon balm and passionflower tea that can help you relax and reduce stress right before bed. Other teas with valerian root and lavender will also help to down-regulate your central nervous system, meaning you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

You’re Eating Right Before You Go To Bed

While some nights this is unavoidable, try be done eating at least three hours before bed. Eating increases your blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn makes it much harder for you to fall asleep. If you’re tempted to have a light snack before bed, keep it light and as sugar free as possible.

Your Bedtime Is All Over The Place

If some nights you go to bed at 2 am, and other nights you go to bed at 9pm, your body’s circadian rhythm isn’t syncing up. By having a consistent bedtime, your body gets used to falling asleep and waking up at the same times, which can make you more alert in the morning. One of the easiest ways to do that is to develop a consistent bedtime routine, whether that be meditating or listening to some relaxing tunes. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but doing the same couple of tasks each night will help your body wind down and make it easier to fall asleep.

Your Bedroom Is Too Warm

While sleeping, your body temperature naturally begins to dip. Sleeping in a room that is more than 68 degrees can make it much harder for your body to fall asleep. Setting the thermostat anywhere between 60-67 degrees will help you stay snoozing all night, without the constant battle with your covers.

You’re Hitting Snooze

As good as it can feel to close your eyes for a couple more minutes, hitting snooze is bad for your body. Within the five to ten minutes between alarms, your body isn’t able to enter any stage of deep sleep. This means that you’re going to wake up groggier than if you hadn’t hit snooze. Keep your phone out of arm’s reach so that you’re forced to get up when it goes off in order to turn it off, or you can try this alarm clock mat that forces you to stand up in order to shut it off.

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Nada Milosavljevic
Nada Milosavljevic

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