If you are wondering why you wake up feeling tired or do not seem to be getting enough rest, the problem might be that you are making a few common mistakes. The worst part about it all is that you do not even know that you are making them. But, if you do not change them as soon as possible you will not be able to sleep well and as much as the body needs.
Here are these 10 sleep mistakes you don’t know you’re making.
#1 Eating Unhealthy Bedtime Snacks
For many people, a bedtime snack is as important as any other meal, and they cannot sleep without it. But, the biggest mistake that most tend to make is snacking on the wrong thing. A snack before bed might not be bad but eating high-fat and sugary foods will hamper your sleep in many ways. Your body slows down when sleeping and so eating the wrong kind of snacks will make the digestive system work extra hard, and so you will have more difficult time falling asleep. If you have to snack on something you should go for foods with a high tryptophan such as eggs, bananas and honey as they have some sleep enhancing properties.
#2 Accumulating a Sleep Debt
Whether you stay awake till late in the night to finish a major project or you just want to go out and meet a few friends, you should not accumulate a sleep debt. There is a widespread belief that you can always make up for any sleep lost over the weekend, but there is no truth in this. A sleep debt will result in mental and physical fatigue and no amount of rest over the weekend can help with this. Most experts advise that you should maintain a consistent sleep schedule if you want to remain healthy.
#3 Drinking Alcohol to Help you Sleep
Few other things can make you sleepier than alcohol, and so it may appear like a perfect idea to have a glass or two as an assurance that you will black out the minute you put your body on the bed. However, alcohol before bed is a mistake, and it will impair your sleep in the second and most important half of the night. Various research findings also show that alcohol will interfere with your REM sleep and it will make it hard for you to fall into the deep and restorative sleep.
#4 Sharing your Bed with Pets
Pets are amazing, and most people cannot live without them as they are part of their family. However, what you do not know is that sharing the bed with your pets is big sleep mistake and it might even be the reason why you have sleep problems. The fact that you have to wake up to take your dog or cat out is just one of the ways that the pet will affect your sleep. Once he is tired of sleeping he will start playing around and making some funny noises that will also wake you up. Some pets can also carry pollen on their fur to your bed and trigger your allergies, and this means that you will have a terrible night.
#5 Drinking Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeinated beverages have a stimulating effect, and they are perfect for keeping you alert during the day. However, they are the worst drinks that you can take if you have any hope of getting a good night’s sleep. And so if you love a warm cup of coffee late in the afternoon or after dinner it might be what is keeping you awake at night. If you must have any caffeinated beverages, limit their consumption to the early part of the day.
#6 Technology Before Bed
A recent study in the USA shows that close to 80% of the adult population uses technology such as a laptop, smartphone, and a tablet before bed. If you also use these devices before bed, it is a big mistake because studies show that the blue light that they emit will delay the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone that is vital for a person to fall asleep and a delay in its production means that you will spend several hours tossing and turning in bed.
#7 Worrying Too Much
If you have not been sleeping enough in the last couple of days or weeks, the chances are that you will start worrying about it. However, this is also another mistake that you do not know that you are making. Sleep is vital for the body, and you have to get enough of it if you want to be productive and healthy. But, worrying too much about it only makes things worse because the anxiety and stress that comes will this will keep you awake for long. Even if you have trouble with sleep, you should just ignore the thoughts and try to find solutions.
#8 Exercising Before Bed
Exercising is the best way to keep the body fit, but you should only do it in the morning or afternoon. Working out at night is a mistake as it will keep you awake for several hours. Although exercises are tiring, they also lead to the production of excess energy, and this is what will keep you awake. Instead of sleeping, the body will focus on fighting off this energy meaning that you will find it hard to fall asleep.
#9 Making the Bedroom Too Hot
The body’s core temperature will drop when you are sleeping, and this is the reason why you might want to make the bedroom as hot as possible. However, you should also not overlook the fact that the core temperature also rises during the REM stage of the sleep cycle. And so if the room is already too hot the natural rise in temperature will make it impossible to sleep meaning you have to wake up and hence interfere with your sleep cycle in the process.
#10 Napping Too Long During the Day
Daytime naps are very refreshing, and they will boost your energy tremendously. However, if you are making yours too long and also having them late in the afternoon, it is a mistake. Long naps in the afternoon will not just make you feel disoriented and groggy, but they are also detrimental to your sleep. And so if you want a good nap you should always make it less than half an hour during the day.
You might not know that you are making the mistakes above, but once you figure this out the best and only cause of action is to stop making them. If you are having trouble with sleep, there are many natural and herbal remedies that you can try, and so you just have to figure out what works for your body.