What are the most important needs of a person? For a person to survive, he or she needs food, water, overall health, shelter, and sufficient rest. It is simply impossible to be a functional being if you’re exhausted all the time. Unfortunately, most people get too busy thinking about the other things from this list and they put their need for rest last. If you are aware of the importance of sleep and its importance on mental and physical health, yet, you can’t get enough sleep, the issue might be something else. Maybe you’re not aware of all the things that can decrease the quality of your sleep. Here is what they are and how to avoid them.
1. Poor eating habits
The first thing that will affect the quality of your sleep is the food you consume. The worst thing you can do for your organism is to be an inconsistent eater. Late-night snacks on one night and a healthy meal the other night isn’t really the best combination for a good night of sleep.
Instead, you should pick a lifestyle that suits you the best and stick with it. Confusing your organism can really throw it off the course. If you can’t live without your late-night snack, then you should keep doing it. However, you should always try to stick to the healthier options first.
2. Going to bed hungry or eating late
Pizza, cheese, hot sauce, and smoothies are just some of the foods that may be bad for you, especially if you consume them before sleeping. Digesting takes some time and consuming foods like these just an hour before bed could disrupt your sleep greatly.
However, going to bed hungry is as bad as going to bed too full. The ideal time for your last meal of the day is three hours prior to sleeping. This gives you enough time to digest and you don’t have to worry about high blood sugar or heartburn when you go to bed.
3. Consuming citruses before sleep
If you like drinking your tea with lemon at night, you may want to consider changing this habit. Namely, citrus fruits (especially lemon) are known as big mental stimulators. That means that even smelling them can increase energy levels.
This is the exact opposite of the effect you want to achieve just a couple of hours before bedtime. You don’t want to stay up all night on your phone – you want to recharge your own batteries and prepare for the following day.
4. Drinking late
Another poor habit is drinking late at night. Alcohol is one of the things that can affect your sleep negatively as well. If you choose to eat a pizza before sleep and then drink some cups of wine right after it, you could kiss quality sleep goodbye.
If you consume too much of anything right before bed, you won’t have a good night of sleep for sure. Especially when it comes to alcohol, you shouldn’t exaggerate. Instead, you should drink only a glass of whatever alcohol and you should do it at least four hours before bedtime.
5. Smoking before bed
Another thing that comes to mind when alcohol is mentioned in the notorious cigarette. Smoking is one more poor habit that can damage your general well-being. Not only that, but smoking can be bad for your sleep as well.
If you believe that an evening cigarette is great for calming the nerves, you are very wrong. Besides being a depressant, a cigarette is a stimulant as well. That means that it can cause trouble for you trying to fall asleep. If you don’t want to give up cigarettes completely, you could at least avoid them at night.
6. Watching TV at night
With today’s streaming services and their availability, most of us are used to falling asleep to the sounds of our favourite shows. However, this doesn’t have such a good effect as we would like it to have. Instead, it disrupts our sleep and makes us dream weird stuff.
Instead of watching TV two hours before bedtime, you could try meditating. This is a much better practice and it will actually calm you and prepare for bed. If you prefer the traditional way of looking at TV, you can always DVR your shows and watch them in some healthier time.
7. Feeling too warm or cold
Even though it sounds absurd, getting too warm and cozy can disrupt your sleep. On the other hand, not being warm enough can also disrupt sleep in even worse ways. So, the trick is to find the right temperature. You don’t want your body temperature to go way too up or way too low.
This is why you’ll need to think well about your sheets. Getting some natural material bed sheets might be the best way to go. With bamboo sheets, you’ll be able to stay warm enough without disrupting your sleep. If you sleep with pets, you should know that they can affect this issue poorly as well!
8. Using electronics
This one is pretty popular and straightforward – if you use your electronics late at night, you’ll have trouble sleeping. Due to the artificial blue light people are exposed to thanks to the phones, they can experience restrictions in the body’s production of melatonin.
Being the hormone that tracks your sleep cycle, melatonin is pretty important. Things are even worse if you use your phone at night to look at terrible news or have a fight with someone. All these stress-inducing situations can make you lose sleep.
9. Charging your tech at night
The less obvious connection between technology and sleep is leaving your tech to charge during the night. Every piece of tech you have is probably emitting some kind of light when it’s charging. This light is exactly what could damage your sleep.
The blue light is the worst. Blue wavelengths are influencing your circadian rhythm. The solution for this is to simply charge your tech in the morning. If you have to charge it during the night, you could at least do it in some other room and not in the bedroom.
10. Reading in bed
Even though it’s significantly better than scrolling social media in bed, reading a book in bed can also be bad for your sleep. Everything that stimulates your brain is a poor choice when it comes to the activities prior to sleep. So, if you’re a fan of good books, you might want to read them during the day.
Exciting plots and plot twists might prolong your falling asleep process. Especially if the book is emotional and intellectually demanding, you’ll just want to keep reading. Instead of getting a good book for bed, you should try out a sports or entertainment magazine, as these are much lighter readings.
11. Exercising late
Exercise is important. It keeps you moving, improves your posture, reduces stress and anxiety, builds muscle, and makes you stronger and healthier in general. However, it’s not the same when you do your session first thing in the morning and when you save it for just before bedtime.
The reason why exercising at night won’t be as productive is the body temperature. Namely, your body knows when it’s time to sleep. Body temperature decreases at night. Exercising stimulates the brain, heart, and muscles and it increases your body temperature. To avoid staying wide awake when you should already be dreaming, you shouldn’t exercise at least three hours before bed.
12. Getting too tired
If you feel like over-exhausting yourself is bound to make you sleep like a baby, you are very wrong. Instead, you risk getting your body so tired that it can’t fall asleep. That is another reason why you shouldn’t exercise late at night, especially if you’ve had a tough and stressful day.
If you do have long and exhausting days at work usually, there is a trick to fall asleep faster. The mistake would be to go to bed straight from the exhausting tasks. Instead, you should try doing stuff that makes you relaxed. Reading newspapers, talking to your family, listening to a good podcast will all take you to dreamland, slowly, buy effectively.
13. Minty fresh mouth
Finally, one of the most surprising reasons for disrupted sleep is the wrong choice of toothpaste. Brushing your teeth at night is essential for your oral hygiene, but did you know that having the wrong toothpaste can be bad for your sleep?
If you brush your teeth with a peppermint toothbrush, you may have noticed that the scent of peppermint makes you feel more awake. If your brain gets the message that you should stay awake, then that’ll be the case! The solution is to use some other kinds of toothpaste, such as strawberry or bubblegum flavored.
Your lifestyle can largely impact the sleep you have. If you don’t eat well, if you smoke or have one too many drinks, you risk sleeping poorly. High-quality sleep is required if you want to remain healthy, sane, and functional. Unfortunately, there are many threats to our sleep in our everyday life. Now that you’re aware of them, you’ll be able to avoid them and improve your sleeping habits within days!