Are you consistently waking up each morning feeling unrefreshed? You’re not alone. Millions of people suffer from sleep deprivation. Poor sleep can contribute to numerous health problems, but the good news is that most issues can be solved by changing your habits. Here are six ways that you could unintentionally sabotage your sleep – and tips to eliminate each problem.
1.Too much screen time before bed
Cell phones, tablets, computers, and tv’s all emit blue light that interferes with your sleep. Plus, some of the content you may be consuming on those devices can be more stimulating rather than relaxing, and will keep you from winding down before it’s time to crash. Opt for reading a book instead.
2. No consistent bedtime routine
Having a set bedtime each night and wake time each morning helps your body fall into its natural circadian rhythm. Work on forming a routine, then stick to it (even on weekends) and see if it helps.
3. Eating too close to bedtime
Eating heavier meals or snacks right before bed might be causing digestive distress that interferes with your sleep. Try to eat your last meal 3-4 hours before bedtime, and limit spicy foods or anything that you know might upset your stomach while sleeping.
4. Consuming caffeine too close to bedtime
Even if you don’t feel like caffeine is perking you up, it still has a half-life of 6-9 hours. If you want to sleep soundly, it’s best to cut off any caffeine after lunchtime.
5. Drinking too much alcohol
While you may think your night-cap helps you fall asleep, it’s been shown to actually reduce your amount of REM sleep, which is the deep sleep your body needs to feel fully rested.
6. Keeping your room too hot
Most people sleep best in a cool room. Try keeping the thermostat between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit while you sleep. Also, try sleeping in clothing and bed sheets that are made of breathable, natural fabric.
A small change in your habits can make a world of difference when it comes to sleep. For more healthy sleep habits, download this infographic. If you still find yourself having issues with sleep, be sure to talk to your doctor.