10 Bad Habits you Must Eliminate From your Bedtime Routine

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In today’s fast paced world most everyone works at least eight hours a day, many working more, and then when they get home there is more work to do before they have time to relax and unwind, which is where their bedroom comes into play.

The bedroom is no longer just a place to go to sleep but many find themselves doing work that they brought home from the office in bed, checking their children’s homework, catching up with friends on the phone, watching television, and so much more. Doing any of these things is not conductive to helping you sleep better.

10 Bad Habits you Must Eliminate From Bedtime Routine

Before you can get a restful sleep your body needs to relax and your brain needs to deactivate. For many people this is hard to do but in order to wake up feeling rested and way to take on the day you need to learn how to do this. In order to sleep better here are ten bad habits that you must eliminate from your bedtime routine.

10 Bad Sleeping Habits

Below are 10 common and bad bedtime habits that you should elevate for a perfects night sleep.

1. Using electronic devices in bed

This includes your smart-phone, e-readers, using a tablet or computer, playing video games, and even watching television because all of these can disrupt your getting to sleep. The blue light that is given off by these electronics can prevent the production of melatonin. This is what helps your body become sleepy. It is recommended that you avoid any of these light-emitting electronics as least sixty minutes before bedtime.

Playing video games requires a lot of interaction and this is not good for helping you to go to sleep faster or sleep better. If you play any intense video games, such as a fighting game, and then try to go to sleep your body will still feel amped from all that intense concentration and movement your body does to play the game. Your brain has also been activated and excited which can also make it harder to fall asleep.

If you absolutely have to use your e-reader or other electronic devices to help you relax keep them at least fourteen inches from your face and turn down the brightness of the screen if you can.

2. Taking certain medications

There are some medications that can make you alert for hours after taking them so check with your physician as to what time you should take them to avoid this problem. Taking a sleeping pill may help you go to sleep faster but it is only recommended for short-term use.

3. Texting friends or family before going to bed

If they do not reply right away and you sleep with the phone nearby you could have your sleep disturbed by getting replies after you have just fallen asleep.

4. Drinking or eating foods with caffeine

A regular cup of coffee contains between eighty and one hundred twenty milligrams of caffeine and this caffeine can stay in your body for as many as twelve hours so it is best to avoid coffee in the afternoon or evening. You should even avoid decaf because it can contain as many as twenty milligrams of caffeine. If you drink tea you should drink herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint but avoid any tea that is white, green, or black.

Also avoid eating chocolate, especially the dark chocolate, which has high cocoa contents. Although milk chocolate has less than ten milligrams of caffeine chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine. This has been shown to increase sleeplessness.

5. Skipping your wind down time

At least thirty minutes before bedtime you should put away anything that is too stimulating or absorbing. This includes work you have brought home, television shows that are action packed, etc. Focus on things that can help you relax like meditation or a warm bath.

6. Eating too close to bedtime

If you have a large meal too close to bedtime it can keep you awake, especially fatty or spicy food because both are associated with acid reflux. If you have acid reflux, or experience heart burn a lot, lying down in bed can cause both of these to act up and leave you with a burning sensation in your stomach, or you could have some of that stomach acid come up in your throat. You should have your last large meal at least two hours before you go to bed. This will give your body enough time to digest it. If you have to have something before bed drink a glass of milk or eat some simple carbohydrates to help induce sleep.

7. Drink alcohol

Alcohol can trick your mind into thinking that you will sleep better because alcohol will often make you feel drowsy. Truthfully, your body will start to metabolize the alcohol during the period of sleep where it is most restorative to your body and reduce that much needed restorative sleep. It is also a diuretic and may make you have to get up to go to the bathroom several times during the night.

8. Smoking

Many people smoke to relax but actually nicotine is a stimulant. If you have insomnia smoking can make it worse, especially if you smoke close to your bedtime. If you are trying to quit smoking experiencing nicotine withdrawal can sometimes make you wake up earlier than you normally would so you are not getting enough sleep. You should also avoid e-cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and wearing the smoking cessation patches to bed.

9. Exercise too intensely

Getting regular exercise can help promote good sleeping habits but if you exercise too intensely before bedtime it can make it hard for you to fall asleep. High intense workouts can include weight lifting, hard cardio exercises, aerobics, taking a long hard fast run, and more. If you need to exercise try taking a walk, using an elliptical or stair master, yoga, etc.

10. Turn up the heat

Everyone has their own preference as to how cool or how warm they want their bedroom to be but it has been found that most people sleep better when their bedroom is between sixty and seventy degrees. The reason is that because at night your body’s temperature drops and it allows for you to cover up with a blanket or two without becoming too hot.

Bad Sleeping Habits Infographic

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Bad Sleeping Habits Infographic

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