We’ve all had those nights where no matter how much we toss, turn and reposition; we just can’t seem to fall asleep after our head hits the pillow!
And if this is a frequent occurrence – and there have been a number of recent nights where falling asleep seems like a tough task – then there may be a few other factors to blame besides bad luck or a busy mind.
So make sure you’re not doing the following seemingly innocent things that can make going to sleep harder than it should be.
While each is obviously different, these little actions and activities may be derailing your ability to enjoy a good night’s rest.
1. Changing your Sleep Schedule on the Weekends
It’s tempting after a long week of work to mix things up once Friday, and Saturday rolls around, and to go to bed later, and enjoy a long morning of sleeping in.
But sleep experts say that drastically changing your sleep schedule – even if it’s just for a night or two – is akin to being in a new time zone, and our bodies can take a day or longer to adjust to the change.
So try to keep your schedule intact on weekends, and avoid that urge to sleep in too late, to keep you feeling rested all week long.
2. Using your Bed Too Much
If your bed serves as a second office, a TV watching spot or other functions besides just sleep, it may be causing your mind and body to associate it with other activities besides actually going to bed.
All of those tasks can, in turn, keep you awake when it’s time to use it for its intended purpose.
3. Too Much Evening Screen Time
It may seem relaxing to cap off a day with a few episodes of your favorite TV show, but that false light emulating from the television or laptop screen can actually make it much harder to go to sleep.
Studies have shown that blue light that is emitted from electronic devices can stop the production of melatonin, which helps us relax and prepare ourselves for sleep.
So instead of falling asleep to the screen, switch to a book instead 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
4. Enjoying a Midnight Snack
A glass of water before bed is completely fine, but a little snacking before it’s time for sleep cause wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.
For one thing, your internal body clock may think it’s dinner time – not bedtime – and for another, unhealthy ingredients (like sugar or caffeine) can keep you up even later.
Try to finish all meals and snacks at least a couple hours before you go to bed. And if you absolutely have to nibble, reach for healthy and all-natural foods like fruits and veggies that have no undesirable ingredients added.
5. Make Sure There’s Not a Larger Problem
If you have a number of sleepless nights, or are going to bed regularly but still feel tired and lethargic the next day, then chances are there could be a bigger issue to blame.
Get screened for sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders that could easily throw your sleep schedule out of whack, and which could be the cause of your sleeping problems.
With a little effort and attention, a good night’s rest can be easily within reach.
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