Top 8 Mistakes that could be ruining your sleep!
1- Not taking time to unwind before sleep
(Aka No nighttime or wind down routine)
We are busy human beings.
We take a lot in in one day.
Between things like work, relationships, children, pets, house to do’s/projects and the endless other obligations, tasks, to do’s we are wired to go-go-go.
Sometimes working right up to we are too exhausted to work anymore.
There’s always problems to solve, deadlines to meet, people to talk to, meetings/zoom’s which can cause us to be stressed out.
Our thoughts being consumed by what’s to be done, we didn’t do or need to do.
Most people would admit their jobs can be demanding.
If you have kids, or a job where you interact with others all day that’s energy exchanging all day.
If you sit in front of a computer that laptop light has had your eyeballs for hours.
All of these stressors either affect our ability to get to sleep or experience a quality nights sleep.
2- Bringing electronics to bed
I get it – facebook, instagram and texting are the world we live in and we are all likely addicted to our phones (sadly) to some extent.
Electronic back-lit devices like cell phones, tablets, readers, and computers emit short-wavelength enriched light, also known as blue light.
Fluorescent and LED lights also emit blue light which reduces and delays the natural production of melatonin in the evening and decreases feelings of sleepiness.
Blue light can also reduce the amount of time you spend in slow-wave and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, two stages of the sleep cycle that are vital for cognitive functioning.
Not to mention you are likely creating some form of stimulation, mentally, emotionally or psychologically.
3- Mindlessly caffeinating throughout the day
Caffeine is a stimulant. Wakes you up.
Caffeine blocks the action of a natural brain chemical called adenosine that signals your brain to feel tired and induces drowsiness, thereby keeping your brain active when it should be powering down.
Caffeine is meant for the morning.
I would encourage folks who feel they need a “second wind” relying on coffee of caffeine in the afternoon hours to re evaluate their nutrition quality (are you carb crashing?) and your sleep habits and quality.
“You don’t put a bandaid over a bullet hole.”
A good rule of thumb is no caffeine 12 hours out from the time you would normally go to sleep.
4- Sleeping too hot
I’m not here to tell you what to wear to bed but it is a fact that warmer temperatures cause discomfort and restlessness, and anyone who has slept in a stuffy bedroom can attest that it’s hard to nod off when you’re sweaty and dehydrated.
If the bedroom is too hot it can interfere with your body’s thermoregulation abilities and cause fatigue.
Often, a person who is fatigued will feel physically and mentally tired, but unable to fall asleep.
You ever experience one of those HOT summer days when maybe you don’t have your AC unit in yet and you’re restless and just can’t get to sleep?
The temperature of your bedroom can make a significant difference to your sleep quality.
5- Night caps
I’m not sure if this is any of you directly but I am sure someone you likely know…
Thinking they need a glass of whatever before bed to “unwind.”
Many folks try to solve the problem with alcohol, the so-called ‘night cap.’
It’s a big more old school and while alcohol does help induce light sleep, it also robs people of the deep and more restorative stages of sleep.
Alcohol keeps them in the light stages of sleep, from which they can be easily awakened which explains the headache and your bleary eyed avatar the day after.
6 – Inconsistent Sleep Schedule
Sleep cycles are meant to be consistent.
Have you ever pulled an all nighter?
Or stayed up wayyyy past your bed time due to some special or rare occasion?
How did you feel the next day?
Your body is accustomed to a certain system which when disturbed makes it difficult to adjust to the new system.
One of my worst ever feeling CrossFit experiences came back in 2011 after a late night out of staying up way too late combined with drinking. The next day I suffered so poorly in the workout due to my choices the night before. I NEVER made that mistake again. I still remember how bad I felt to this day 10 years later!
7- Snacking with Sugar(s) before bed
Having that sugar craving before bed?
These are metabolic disruptors which raise blood sugar and over stress the organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body.
This hormone roller coaster can affect sleep cycles by waking you up at odd times during sleep as the hormone levels fluctuate.
Thus – a poor nights sleep.
8- Your bedroom isn’t dark enough
Curtains not closed all the way.
Gleaming alarm clocks with bright neon lights.
Lights affect your ability to fall asleep, or often times remain asleep.
For a great night sleep you need it cool (cold) and dark.
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