Sleep is vital for our well-being, and whenever you have a terrible night’s rest that was not enough, you can end up irritable, fatigued, and even sick if you prolong this poor sleep. Not only does poor sleep act as a host to other health problems down the line, but it can also be happening right under your nose. While it’s evident if you feel restless over a mattress and you need a new one from a reliable store, some bad habits make your bedtime less impactful and rejuvenating than it should be.
Here are some common ones you may be doing that are not helping you get any sweet dreams.
- Having a midnight snack
- Scrolling through the web
- Drinking alcohol or caffeine
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Having a midnight snack
Whether you snack up at midnight or do it at night before slipping into bed, this habit is not recommended by health professionals. Most people assume it’s because of the notion that it contributes to more weight gain (which has conflicting reports with different studies). However, it’s about how the food you eat and when you eat affects your sleep pattern.
Eating right before bedtime can give you acidity and reflux over the night, which can worsen if you have GERD or are prone to getting these symptoms. Heartburn and other symptoms can also crop up that can cause a lot of discomforts and cut your deep sleep. A good rule of thumb is to avoid eating at least two hours before going to bed so that your stomach is empty.
Scrolling through the web
Scrolling online ends up taking longer than you think it will because of the many engaging distractions there are to find on different websites and social media platforms. It also directly affects how you sleep because of the gadgets you use. Cellphones and tablets emit a “blue light” that hampers the melatonin in your brain. This hormone is in charge of regulating your body’s sleep-wake cycle, but the blue light overtakes it as the lights mostly work like daylight and falsely informs our internal clock that it’s still time to stay awake.
Even though some devices offer filters to switch the hues emitting from your gadget, the actual action of browsing the web is still too engaging that it keeps your mind active, affecting how you sleep and dream.
Drinking alcohol or caffeine
Drinking too much fluid before bedtime is a no-no in itself because your sleep cycle can be interrupted if you have to wake up and go to the bathroom. Though it is still recommended to have a decent amount of water to prevent dehydration, one of the worst things you can do for yourself is to drink alcohol or caffeine. They are arguably at opposite ends of the spectrum but can mess up your sleep either way.
Alcohol is not only dehydrating but also gives you acid reflux during the night and even shortens your REM cycle significantly. Even though it is a depressant that could make you feel initially sleepier, it hampers the quality of that sleep and can be disruptive throughout the night. On the flip side, caffeine is a stimulant that usually makes it harder to fall asleep in the first place. Even if you do end up sleeping, it has been known to cut off the number of hours you can stay asleep.
If you can do away with these habits, you can give yourself a better chance of having a recuperative sleep. You should make use of the necessary practices to have a good night’s slumber.