Do you wake up still feeling tired? Do you find your nights restless and anxious or have a hard time getting to sleep? Do you wake up in the middle of the night often and have a hard time getting back to sleep?
Many people form habits that disrupt their night’s sleep without realizing it. If you are having sleeping problems, consider these 8 habits you may have formed that could be the cause of your restless nights.
- Reading from an e-reader
According to the National Academy of Sciences, using an e-reader could be the cause of your sleeping troubles. E-readers emit blue light that disrupts sleeping patterns. If you are using an electronic device in bed or less than an hour before bedtime, this light could be the cause of your restlessness.
- Using alcohol as a sleep aid
Alcohol, though it does contribute to initial sleepiness, is more of a hindrance to sleep than an aid. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol decreases the quality of sleep and may contribute to waking up in the middle of the night.
- Your weekend partying
If you have a completely different sleeping schedule on the weekends, such as staying up much later than usual and sleeping in late, you may experience a “social jet lag” come Monday. For better sleeping habits, try to keep a relatively similar schedule all week long.
- You’re trying to go to sleep too early
In an effort to be less tired the next day, you may be trying to force your body to go to sleep too soon. Try waiting until you are tired to put yourself to bed. Staying up later signifies to your body’s system that it needs more sleep, and you will have an easier time getting to sleep once you do get in bed.
- You’re having caffeinated beverages late in the day
If you are having trouble sleeping, limit caffeine to the mornings. According to the National Sleep Foundation, six or more cups of coffee per day is considered excessive intake of caffeine and could be affecting your sleeping habits regardless of what time of day you drink them. Also keep in mind that caffeine can stay in the body 8 to 10 hours and could still be affecting you at bedtime.
- Not having a bedtime routine
Having relaxing bedtime activity 20-30 minutes before bed signifies to your brain that it is time to go to sleep. Try having a cup of herbal tea and reading a book (not from an e-reader) or taking a warm bath.
- You get out of bed when you wake up in the night
Unless you have to use the toilet, try to avoid getting out of bed when you wake up in the night, as it will only rouse you more. Try to remain relaxed and un-frustrated as you lay in bed waiting to fall back asleep.
- You look at the clock in the middle of the night
Looking at the clock will only increase your anxiety about how much sleep you are getting (or not getting). Resist the urge to check the time.
Not getting the sleep you need can be impossibly frustrating and add to the difficulty of your daily life. Forming better sleeping habits will decrease the anxiety you feel about sleep. Above all, try to reduce the anger you feel toward the quality of sleep you’re getting. Overstimulation will only worsen the problem.