10.) Not having a schedule.
We give our kids a “nighttime routine,” but we tend to forget about our own as we grow older. By having a simple routine to tell your body that it should start winding down and settling in for bed, you can cut the amount of time that you spend tossing and turning in half. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Brush your teeth, wash your face, and comb your hair (or a routine that suits you) and see the difference it makes in just a few days!
9.) Having a full bladder.
Sure, this might encourage you to wake up in the morning after your alarm goes off, but it can keep you from getting a deep sleep, too. When your bladder gets full, it can start sending signals to your brain which can interrupt your sleep cycles – whether you get up to relieve yourself or not. For best results, stop drinking liquids one to two hours before bedtime.
8.) Checking social media.
Even if your phone screen is on the lowest brightness, the light and information is stimulating your brain, keeping you from relaxing and drifting off to sleep. Surfing the web late at night will add to the amount of time it takes for your brain to fall asleep. Try doing something calming before bedtime instead of grabbing your phone!
7.) Reading in bed.
This is a habit that can go both ways. If you read every night before bed, skipping a chapter before trying to sleep will keep you up longer in the same way that reading before bed if it isn’t a part of your normal routine will. You can help this habit by reading earlier in the night and sticking to a more permanent routine directly afterwards: brushing your teeth or taking a relaxing bath.
6.) Having a bright alarm clock.
For the same reasons that browsing the internet on your phone before bedtime will keep you up, so will the bright numbers steadily glowing on your bedside clock. While a blue glow is better than a red or green glow, it can still keep you up without you being aware of it. Look for dimmed numbers or a clock that will only light up when you activate it.
5.) Sleeping on the wrong mattress.
Some people prefer firmer beds than others, and sleeping on the mattress that is best for your back, hips, and pressure points. If there are lumps, springs, or hollowed out spots, it’s time to go shopping for a better quality mattress.
4.) Eating a lot just before bed.
With your metabolism in full effect, your body won’t be ready to rest when you are. This can lead to keeping you up for an hour or two after you’ve laid down to sleep. Try to space out your meals so that your last snack is around 2 hours before you head off to bed.
3.) Exercising at night.
Once your body kicks in to high gear, all of that extra energy won’t just disappear because it’s 10pm and time for bed! Organize your workouts so that you have about 3 to 4 hours before you try and get to sleep. Don’t go to the gym at 11pm and expect to be asleep by 12am!
2.) Having cold feet.
When your feet are warm, your blood vessels dilate, increasing circulation and keep those feet nice and toasty! If you aren’t a fan of wearing socks, add a warmer blanket to the end of your bed to add some more insulation and warm them up faster. If your temperature is regulated, it will be easier to fall asleep!
1.) Drinking coffee.
Having a cup of coffee can be a relaxing thing…while you’re drinking it! After a few hours, your body will still be buzzing off of that caffeine and won’t want to settle down to catch some Zzz’s! If you absolutely must have that evening cup, switch to decaf in the evening. If that is impossible, try to give yourself a few hours afterwards before trying to drift off to sleep!