Sleep has often been an overlooked part of our lives, we tend to sacrifice our sleep in return for work or leisure.
There might also be things you are doing that are not helping you get better sleep.
It is time for us to learn the habit of prioritizing our sleep, these are the top 3 sleep mistakes most people make.
Using alcohol to help you sleep
Alcohol is a common sleep aid, after all it is a sedative. It can make you tired and fall asleep faster, however it robs you of quality sleep.
Alcohol will disrupt your sleep stages. There are four stages of a normal sleep cycle: three non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stages and one rapid eye movement (REM) stage. NREM sleep stages occur first and it slowly leads to REM sleep, which is also known as deep sleep. These stages will repeat in cyclical fashion throughout the night.
Drinking alcohol before your sleep can lead to the suppression of REM sleep during the first two cycles. There will be a disproportionate amount of NREM sleep and REM sleep, resulting in less of the latter and more of the former. Leading to a decrease in quality sleep, with shorter sleep duration and more sleep disruptions.
Using electronics in bed
With the current technological advancements, life has never been more convenient. We can search for anything we want at the tip of our fingers. This can be great, however not when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Studies show that the blue light from your electronics will delay your body’s internal clock. It suppresses the release of melatonin which is a sleep inducing hormone and this makes it difficult for us to fall asleep.
Moreover, all the information we’re processing before bedtime will affect our sleep. Whether it’s one episode of your favourite TV show or replying to text messages, all these will stimulate your brain. This is the opposite to creating an ideal sleep environment.
Eating junk food before bed
There is no doubt that the food we consume will affect our sleep patterns. If our diet is healthier, we would be able to sleep better and faster. But how does a bad diet affect our sleep? More importantly how does snacking on junk food before bedtime affect our sleep?
Foods that are spicy or fatty are more difficult for our bodies to digest. This can result in indigestion before bedtime and you will have a harder time relaxing your body and falling asleep. Meanwhile, foods that are high in sugar will cause a surge in energy, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep quickly.
If you’re making any of these 3 sleep mistakes, it’s time to cut them out of your life today. Instead, try incorporating these habits for your bedtime:
- Try some natural relaxation and breathing techniques
Meditation, praying and even using the Calm app will help. These will help to signal to your body that it’s time for sleep.
- Journaling before bedtime
Journaling before bedtime can help you relieve stress and gain control of your emotions. This can help to promote better sleep, now that you feel more relaxed.
- Watch your diet
As mentioned, consuming alcohol before bedtime can disrupt your sleep. But if you really want some alcohol, you can cut down the amount you consume. Besides alcohol, watch what you snack before bedtime. Make sure it is not too spicy, fatty or sugary.
- Get professional help
If you find that nothing seems to be working for you and you’re too sleep deprived to function. You can always reach out to medical professionals and adult sleep expert for help.