Are you losing sleep at night? You do everything you can to get in bed early, but you just can’t seem to get the restful sleep you were hoping for. If you have any of these bad bedtime habits, they could be keeping you awake.
# Exercising Your Body
On the surface, exercising before bed seems like a great idea. You’ll be exerting your body and using a lot of energy. Exercising might tire you out, and then you’ll be able to fall right asleep. It doesn’t always work this way, and in fact can do the exact opposite. Exercising releases endorphins, and it actually gives your body a boost of energy. And rather than relaxing your muscles, you’re engaging them. Try working out in the morning or afternoon instead.
# Exercising Your Mind
You should also avoid over-stimulating your mind before bedtime. It’s not a bad idea to read or write, for example, but you might want to save the Sudoku level difficult for a little earlier in your day. If you don’t relax your brain, you body will have a hard time relaxing. Lots of people toss and turn because they can’t stop thinking – if you’re stressing or worrying about something, write your thoughts down to get them out of your head, but don’t try to tackle the problems until morning.
# Watching TV
When your day is finished, and you’ve done everything you need to, the couch is a very appealing place. You want to sit back, relax, and watch some TV. Watching TV is an easy and entertaining pastime, and there are lots of great shows on in the evening before bedtime. It’s not a good idea to watch TV right before bed, however. Studies have shown that it leads to lower quality sleep and sleep disturbances, especially if the shows you’re watching are violent or stressful. If you must watch TV before bed, turn it off at least an hour before turning in, and stick to lighter shows like sitcoms.
Are you the type who likes to have a meal or a snack right before bed? While filling your belly can make you sleepy, it can also disturb your rest. Eating stimulates your digestive system, and this can keep you awake or make it harder to fall asleep. If you’re prone to heartburn and eat before bed – forget about it. You should have your last meal about four hours before bedtime. Include protein in your meal to help you feel fuller for longer.
# Reading in Bed
Reading is a great thing to do before bed. It’s relaxing, easy, and it helps take your mind away from the stress of the day. Reading in bed, however, is a bad idea. When you read in bed, and then just turn out the light and shut your eyes when you’re done, you’re not giving your body any kind of transition time from being awake and reading to being asleep. You shouldn’t read in bed or do anything in bed other than sleep and have sex. This way when you climb under the sheets, it signals to your body that it’s time to sleep, and you’ll drift off quicker.