Oh, the long nights of tossing and turning! Do you struggle from not getting enough rest each day? Are the hours of sleeplessness adding up to a significant loss?
You may be surprised to know that insomnia is a growing problem, and it’s only getting worse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all adults need seven or more hours of slumber to feel refreshed. Sadly, the lack of rest can have a dramatic impact on your life.
10 Bad Habits That Cause Sleeplessness
If you are tired of your nightly routine being mixed up and dragging as you go into work the next day, then there are things you can do to improve your sleeplessness. Here are ten of the worst habits that can cause your sleepless nights.
1. Falling Asleep To The Television
Having a television in your room seems like a good idea, right? Well, that is one of the worst ways for you to fall asleep. A TV has bright lights and noise that can affect your brain.
While you may think it’s helping you to get to dreamland, the lights are sending scrambled messages to your brain. Your brain is seeing the lights and hearing the noise, and it prevents you from going into a deep REM state of rest. Meaning, you won’t feel refreshed because you will never enter the healing part of your sleep.
2. Having Cell Phones and Computers Near Bed
Another problem that is significant in our day and age is a cell phone close to the bed. These little devices have replaced the alarm clock and house phone, but are they causing more harm than good? Cell phones emit a light that will mess with your circadian clock rhythm.
If the cell phone is more than five feet from your bed, then you are safe. However, most people keep it within an arm’s length from them at all times. When your circadian clock rhythm gets out of whack, then your body won’t produce melatonin that helps you get and stay asleep.
3. Not Keeping a Nightly Routine
Remember the importance of keeping your newborn on a schedule for sleep? If their timing changed in any way, it could cause significant problems. Well, the same problem also happens for adults.
Many adults use their sleep as a bargaining tool. If they want to stay up to watch a movie, then they will cut their sleep by a couple of hours. Your rest is just as important as eating a nutritious meal each day. Without it, your body will suffer.
Don’t use your sleep as a mathematical equation where you can subtract and add time as you please. You need a routine schedule to avoid sleeplessness. With a set schedule, you will look and feel better in the morning.
4. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant that speeds up your heart. While drinking a cup of coffee or one soda a day isn’t going to kill you, it can keep you up at night. If you have a caffeinated drink too late in the afternoon, it can cause
Part of your nightly routine should include nothing caffeinated after 4 pm. If you have the willpower to cut these beverages, it would be beneficial for your body. Caffeine is very addictive and follows the same pathways as cocaine in your brain.
5. Having Your Bedroom Too Warm
Have you ever noticed how you always look for that cool spot on your pillow? Well, studies prove that you will sleep better in a cool room. That doesn’t mean you should turn off the heat as you will get sick, but you need to keep it about five to seven degrees cooler when you are sleeping.
Your body is better able to rest when it’s nice and cool in your bedroom, and you can save on the electric or gas bill too.
6. Using Alcohol To Sleep
So many people think that alcohol makes them sleep better, so they will take a shot of something strong to knock them out. The problem is that alcohol can be counterproductive.
While you may fall to sleep faster, the induced slumber won’t last long. You are more apt to be aroused easily if you have alcohol in your system. Plus, these arousals can cause periods of apnea, which can be deadly.
7. Save Your Workouts For The AM Hours
It may seem like it’s best to workout before you take your evening shower, but the popular philosophy is misleading. When you exercise, you get your heart pumping, and you’re releasing endorphins that stimulate and you not relax you. Though your body may be tired, your brain is wide awake.
The problem with all this stimulation is it can make going to sleep difficult. Your sleeplessness can be caused by the timing of your work out. Try an AM workout to see if it improves sleep problems. You may be surprised how it fixes your sleep deprivation.
8. Don’t Depend on Sleep Aids
There are so many sleep aids on the market that you can get both by prescription and over-the-counter. However, the real problem is that these aids are simply masking a problem. You can overcome much of your sleeplessness by simply practicing good sleep hygiene.
These medications, even if bought at a local drug store, are not harmless. They induce sleep, and your body becomes dependent on them. You will often need more of the drug to get the same effects. If you’re not sleeping, don’t throw a pill at the problem as it can make things worse.
Taking something natural like melatonin can help your body to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Other natural herbs can also be beneficial. Don’t drug yourself to get the rest you need. Explore natural options like meditation and herbal treatments.
9. Eating Too Late
Your job may dictate your dinner time. Some people eat early at around 4-5 pm, while others may have their nightly meal between 7-9 pm. The only problem with eating late is that it can cause you to have a rough night of sleep.
If you overeat, you can feel bloated, having indigestion, and fight these problems all night long. You need to allow at least four hours between your last meal and sleep. Your food needs proper time to digest so that it doesn’t interrupt you at night.
10. You Don’t Have Adequate Bedding
While no one wants to spend excessive amounts of money on mattresses, it can pay to have one that is supporting your body. Every single thing, including pillows, blankets, and bedding, will have a dramatic impact on your rest.
Some people can’t sleep well with a quilt because they are heavy, but a comforter provides a lighter touch that seems to make someone sleep better. Remember how kids pick a favorite blanket and won’t let it go? It’s because they find comfort, and the blanket helps them to get quality sleep.
It’s okay for adults to have a favorite “blanket,” too. If a weighted blanket helps to ease your angst and provides your safety net for slumber, then, by all means, use what helps you.
Rule Out Underlying Medical Conditions
Sometimes, there is a medical condition that is causing you to get the sleep you need. Insomnia is a real problem that needs to be treated. While you should be wary of throwing prescription medications at the problem, you could have an underlying issue like sleep apnea, causing the issues.
Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing during the night. These periods of breathlessness are dangerous, but they are treatable. Having a C-Pap machine can ensure that your airways are open and responsive to the brain’s signals to make you breathe.
Additionally, if you’re taking medications, they can also have a dramatic impact on your sleep. Thinks like depression and anxiety can cause you to sleep too much or too little. If you’re having issues, then the first thing you need to do is evaluate your sleep hygiene.
Final Thoughts: End Sleeplessness by Improving Your Sleep Hygiene
Using the list above, what can you do to improve your sleep health? Is your phone sitting by your bed every night? Do you have computers, iPads, and televisions going an hour before you go to sleep?
Are you eating too late or bargaining with your sleep like it’s an optional part of your day? You can change some of the sleep patterns. Naturally, that doesn’t require any medications. Before you reach for sleep aids, try some herbs or a nice herbal tea that can help to stimulate rest and avoid the drugged or hungover feeling the next day.
You need at least seven hours of sleep. If you’re not getting that amount, then you need to change some things for your health’s sake. Your body must have time to heal and restore.