Our habits are what create our reality. Both big and small, good or bad, habits have a cumulative effect on our overall health and wellness. That’s why it’s so important to foster good habits when it comes to sleep. Consistently getting poor quality sleep can cause an array of health problems. And your habits throughout the day have more of an impact on your sleep than you may realize.
Check out these 10 habits that ruin healthy sleep.
10 Nighttime Habits That Ruin Sleep
1. Not going to bed at the same time each night
Most people worry about how much sleep they get each night and never worry about developing a consistent sleep schedule. But if you have a habit of getting into bed at a different time each night and waking up at a different time each morning, then you’re probably spending far longer awake in bed then you realize.
If you go to bed at the same time each night, your body naturally adjusts and begins to feel tired prior to bed. That means less time lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep.
2. Eating a large meal before bed
When you eat a large meal, your body releases insulin as part of the digestion process. Insulin is the hormone that helps your body convert the food you eat into energy your body can use.
That means eating late in the evening actually signals wakefulness in the brain and will interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Eating late can also cause nighttime heartburn, which can also contribute to insomnia.
3. Eating too much sugar before bed
It can be habit-forming to reach for a sugary snack late in the evening when you’re tired. But late-night sugary snacks can be problematic for quality sleep. Not only does sugar mess with your sleep, but each time you experience sleeplessness you’ll crave more sugar.
In fact, one study found that those whose diets are high in sugar tend to not sleep well and experience more restlessness throughout the night.
4. Using electronic devices in bed
In today’s electronic age, smartphones have replaced books. But not only is the information you’re consuming via your smartphone overly stimulating (and often stressful) to the brain, the light produced by these devices can suppress the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone released in the evening to help you get ready for sleep.
Scrolling through your phone before bedtime not only decreases feelings of sleepiness, it also reduces the amount of time you spend in slow-wave and rapid-eye movement sleep. Both of these sleep cycles are vital for your brain and if you don’t spend enough time in these cycles, you’re likely to wake up feeling tired and groggy.
5. Drinking caffeine before bed
Most know that caffeine before bed can disrupt sleep. But even if you’re able to fall asleep with caffeine in your system, it can still affect your circadian rhythm and reduce your total sleep time, suggests a study in Science.
Coffee can be great for improving your energy, concentration, and alertness. But habitually drinking too much coffee later in the day can reduce the quality and quantity of sleep.
6. Enjoying a nightcap before bed
This is a habit that some feel is beneficial for inducing sleep. But while alcohol may help you fall asleep faster due to its sedative properties, it won’t last. People who drink before bed often experience disruptions during sleep as liver enzymes metabolize the alcohol.
Moreover, if you habitually drink alcohol to fall asleep, it can build up a tolerance, forcing you to drink more each night in order to maintain the same sedative effects. And no one ever felt better in the morning by drinking more alcohol at night.
7. Taking your stress to bed
It can be hard to tell your brain to stop over-thinking when your head hits the pillow. But with today’s stress-filled lives, it’s not uncommon to find yourself ruminating on all the things that happened throughout the day and all the things you need to accomplish.
While there’s no quick solution for reducing evening stress, one helpful thing you can try is a bit of journaling. Before bed, write out everything that’s bothering you, everything that’s been on your mind that day, and anything you want to make sure and remember for tomorrow. By getting all these jumbled thoughts out of your head and onto paper, it’s easier to let go of them and get some rest.
8. Keeping your room to warm at night
You might love a warm cozy bed at night, but that same warmth can disrupt your sleep throughout the night. Keeping your room too warm increases wakefulness and decreases slow wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep.
When you sleep, your core body temperature decreases. So, while you might initially crave that warmth and coziness under the covers, eventually you’ll experience more restlessness and have more trouble falling or staying asleep. It’s best to set your thermostat to between 60°-67° F while you sleep.
9. Too much light in your room
If you have a habit of keeping a night light on or curtains open in your bedroom, you’re likely disrupting your sleep. Whether light is coming from an electronic device, a television, or a street light peeking through the curtains, it can all mess with your sleep.
Light at night, no matter how bright, can affect melatonin and your natural circadian rhythm. And that can impact your body’s ability to fall asleep, stay asleep throughout the night, and experience deep, restorative sleep. Do whatever you can to eliminate any light in your bedroom while you sleep.
10. Not creating a relaxing routine before bed
If you’re not setting aside at least one hour each night to wind down before bed then you’re not preparing for sleep properly. It’s easy to get in the habit of doing too much before bed to get ready for the next day. But to experience deep restorative sleep you need to wind down.
A good wind-down routine begins at least 45 minutes to one hour before bed and helps support your circadian rhythm and aids relaxation. Everyone needs time to settle down before bed to calm the nervous system. It’s one of the single most impactful things you can do to improve your quality of sleep every night.
Wind Down With Golden Superfood Bliss
It’s no secret that sipping on a warm beverage before bed has a calming effect. It’s a ritual that helps signal to your body, mind, and spirit that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Ending your day with a cup of Golden Superfood Bliss is a perfect soothing nighttime ritual.
Golden Superfood Bliss is a healthy and delicious habit you’ll want to indulge in daily. It contains 12 powerful ingredients, including superfoods, adaptogens, and ancient mushrooms. Along with proper sleep hygiene, adding a warm mug of Golden Superfood Bliss to your evening wind-down routine can help…
- Support improved quality of sleep, helping you feel rested and refreshed*
- Soothe occasional anxiety*
- Support a healthy inflammatory response and balance hormones*
- Combat cravings and prevent stress eating*
Creating a relaxing routine before bed not only promotes better sleep, it also improves overall mental and physical health. Click the link below to add Golden Superfood Bliss to your bedtime routine!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.