If you’ve already transformed your bedroom into an environment most conducive for sleep, bought the perfect mattress that suits your needs, and the like, but you still toss and turn in bed at night, the problem might be lying in your before-bed habits.
Assess yourself and your habits. See below bad before-bed habits that rob people of zzzzzzz’s and how they can be broken, corrected, and avoided:
Eating big meals hours before bedtime
Eating heavy meals less than three hours before bedtime can increase risks for heartburn and indigestion which may lead to difficulties in dozing off. In fact, according to a study by researchers from Osaka City University’s Department of Gastroenterology, a shorter dinner-to-bed time was significantly associated with GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
If you want to sleep easier and better each night, make sure to not eat anything at least three to two hours before your bedtime. Refrain from dinner buffets as well as it can jeopardize your night’s sleep. Avoid consuming sugary midnight snacks like cookies, ice cream, etc. too. If you really want to satisfy a midnight craving, grab a banana or a light snack instead.
Having caffeinated and alcoholic drinks
What you drink before bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep. You need to be wary of the beverages you should and shouldn’t drink before bedtime to sleep better. If you’re used to capping your night with caffeinated drinks or booze, you should break the habit ASAP.
If you depend on booze to help you sleep, know that though it may make you drowsy, it can’t bring you a truly restful sleep. What it can bring you is a hangover the next day. On the other hand, caffeinated drinks can keep you up and running way past your bedtime.
Instead of capping your night with caffeine or alcohol, opt for milk, bone broth, or cherry juice instead. These three possess qualities that can improve your sleep quality.
Using gadgets and electronics in bed
It’s no secret that the gadgets and electronics like televisions, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers emit blue light that can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycle. The blue light these gadgets emit doesn’t only stimulate the brain. It also blocks the pineal gland’s production of melatonin, a hormone that controls the body’s daily sleep-wake cycles.
As much as possible, resist the urge to use your phone especially. Before you sleep, put it in silent mode and place it away from your bed with the screen facing down. To replace your gadget use before dozing off, try listening to relaxing music or white noise, meditating, saying your prayers, talking to your loved one about your day, or reading light-read books.
Binge-sleeping on weekends or days off
It may be tempting to sleep in on weekends and catch up on all the hours of sleep you lost the entire week, but research says there’s no real way to make up for lost sleep. There’s no way to compensate for sleep “debt.” Binge-sleeping on weekends won’t mend the consequences of your lost hours of sleep. What it can do is wreck your body’s internal clock instead.
Instead of resorting to binge-sleeping on weekends, try your best to create and consistently follow a regular sleeping and waking up schedule – for both weekdays and weekends. If you feel sleepy during the day because of lost sleep the night before, do power naps lasting between 10 and 30 minutes during the day instead. Doing so will not ruin your whole night’s sleep.
Not having a consistent sleep schedule
Not having a consistent bedtime is as harmful as sleeping past a bedtime. With an erratic sleeping schedule, the body won’t know when to shut down each night and when to wake up the next morning. The body needs a consistent sleep-wake schedule to follow each day.
You need to have a consistent sleep schedule regardless of a work you need to finish, a series you’re tempted to binge-watch, or a party you’re invited to. You must manage your time well during the entire day, so you’ll be able to be in bed on your scheduled sleeping time.
As you sleep at the same hour each night, make sure to also wake up at the same time each morning even on weekends. Try your best to follow your sleep-wake routine.
Correcting and replacing your bad bedtime habits may be the missing step in your pursuit of better sleep each night. Follow the above tips for better zzz’s tonight and next ones!
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