After a long productive day at work, all that you yearn for is to unwind in the labyrinths of your cosy bed and indulge in deep, sound sleep. However, not all of us are blessed with the ability to fall asleep within seconds. Some of us toss and turn with every tick of the clock, while the night sets in and minutes pass.
Sounds like your story? Keep reading.
Falling asleep is not always as simple as turning off the lights, slipping under the covers and resting your head on a pillow. A good night’s sleep is massively dependent on the things and actions you plan throughout the day and vice-versa (vicious circle, right?). In fact, studies have proven that working when you’re sleep-deprived is the cognitive equivalent of coming to work drunk, which implies lower productivity, discontentment, and poor cognition.
To break this mold and help you sleep better & dream bigger, we’ve done some research and today we’re going to tell you 7 bad habits that could be ruining your sleep.
Skipping Your Workout
So you skipped your Zumba class today, big deal? Yes, it is. Studies have proven that morning and afternoon workouts can enhance a person’s quality and extent of sleep at night and add around 45 minutes of extra sleep.
Break the habit: If you’re too occupied with meetings and work to ever see a gym or a fitness class, you can start working out in the comfort of your own home (or probably office). Begin by exercising 15 minutes in the morning. Keep your workout shoes ready at work and sneak out fifteen minutes from in-between meetings to do a few quick exercises.
Indulging in a Late-Night Meal
Let’s admit it, this is one cardinal sin that we’ve all committed a countless number of times. Indulging in a heavy meal and then going straight to bed makes our sleep less restorative because our digestive system gets busy processing the food, instead of being able to slow down and revitalize for the next day.
Break the habit: Restrict your meals to at least two hours prior to bedtime. If hunger still strikes you at odd hours, indulge in some wholesome & light quickies once in a while.
Scanning Your Smartphone In Bed
We’re all addicted to our smartphones that send out harmful blue rays. Science has proven that these blue rays can damage vision and destroy the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep cycle.
Break the habit: Turn off all your gadgets at least half-an-hour prior to bedtime and escort them out of your bedroom. If you’re having trouble falling asleep and need something to calm your mind, read a soothing book.
Not Unwinding Before Bed
When stress increases and cumulates during the day, it’s more difficult to fall asleep at night because it’s more difficult to slow down and quiet your brain. Without taking some time to unwind before bed and diverting your thoughts away from work, it’s nearly impossible to fall asleep because you’re still pondering about the qualms from the day.
Break the habit: One technique to unwind, known as the “mind dump,” involves writing down all the things you need to do the next day before bed. This could help infill your mind and indicate your brain that it no longer needs to run through your to-do list for the rest of the night.
Hitting Snooze On Your Alarm Clock
It may be tempting to hit the snooze button the morning after an all-nighter, however, it is believed that the extra 15 minutes of sleep can wreck your sleep cycle. This is because waking up numerous times in the morning disturbs your circadian rhythm, an internal “body clock” that determines how our bodies respond throughout the next 24-hours.
Break the habit: Be kind to your body and naturally awaken at around the same time every day to bring your circadian rhythm into tune. Remember, just like your relationships, your body also craves a certain consistency.
Drinking Alcohol Too Close To Bedtime
Sure, that glass of merlot helps you relax and unwind at first, but then shortly after you snooze off, it changes allegiances, thus making you wake up in the middle of the night.
Furthermore, according to the National Institutes of Health, consuming alcohol just before bedtime reduces the extent of time you spend in REM sleep- a deep and restorative phase of sleep.
Break the habit: Restrict your drinks to evening. Follow this practice for 21 days before it turns into a habit,
Sleeping In On Weekends
It’s alluring to follow the #LazySunday trend. However, if there’s a significant inconsistency between your weekday sleep schedule and your weekend sleep schedule, you are likely to suffer from social jet lag.
Break the habit: Use your weekends to socialize with your friends or indulge in a restorative spa session.
What’s your suggestion for a sound sleep at night? Don’t forget to share it in the comments section below.