We’ve all had those nights where no matter how much we toss and turn, we just can’t fall asleep!
And if this is a frequent occurrence, there may be a few factors to blame besides a busy mind. These little actions and activities may be derailing your ability to enjoy a good night’s rest.
1. Hitting the Snooze Button
Several sleep experts say if you hit that snooze button multiple times in the morning, it can cause you to feel groggy throughout the day… until it’s time actually to get back to bed.
Hitting the snooze to wake up gradually may be fine, but don’t use the snooze button like a regular tool for getting extra sleep.
2. Staying Indoors
Natural light is imperative for regulating our internal body clocks, as it helps us recognize when it’s time to be “asleep” and when it’s time to be “awake.”
Try to get a little morning sun soon after you wake up, so you can start your internal body clock at the appropriate time.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Being Stressed about Not Sleeping
If you have trouble drifting off to sleep, chances are you start worrying about not being able to sleep.
This, in turn, causes anxiety, which keeps your mind active and essentially launches an unhelpful cycle where you can’t go to sleep because you’re stressed out about the fact that you can’t go to sleep.
So stop the cycle, take some deep breaths, and essentially stop trying so hard. Just “relaxing” with closed eyes instead of forcing yourself to go to bed will go a long way in having a clear mind.
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