Lots of people have trouble falling asleep or staying there all night, and we know some of the problem is our bad habits. Scrolling through Twitter before bedtime isn’t helping you get to sleep and neither are these things, so stop doing them to get your eight hours of sleep.
- Ignoring your circadian rhythms - We have a biological clock that runs on a 24-hour cycle and things like melatonin, physical activity, and light all impact it. Most of us spend a lot of time inside, so taking a walk outside after lunch can help because the sun will tell your body it’s midday and help keep your day-night cycle aligned.
- Working out too close to home - If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid doing strenuous exercise later at night, which can raise body temperature, making it harder to get to sleep.
- Eating certain foods, especially before bed - We know it’s not a good idea to drink an espresso at bedtime, but there are other foods that affect sleep, too. Eating high-carb, high-fat foods at night can also raise core body temperature, so you’re better sticking to a light, high-fiber, low-fat meal in the evening.
- Procrastinating at bedtime - We’ve all gotten sucked into binge watching one more episode on Netflix before bed, but we pay the price. Don’t just give yourself eight hours for sleep because it takes a little while to drift off and you’ll wake up during the night, so give yourself eight hours and 45 minutes for shut-eye, so get off social media and get to bed already.
- Worrying with your eyes closed - If you can’t lay down without getting overloaded with anxiety at bedtime, experts suggest waiting to hit the sack until you’re actually sleepy so you don’t struggle to turn your mind off to fall asleep.
- Tossing and turning - Waking up and checking the clock to see how much time you have left to sleep could actually cause you to lose sleep. If you start stressing about how you need to get to sleep right this second and it’s not happening, getting up could help. Spending time out of bed doing something relaxing, like reading a book in dim light, could help you start to feel tired again and that’s when it’s time to go back to bed.