When it comes to good sleep, getting in bed at a decent hour is important, but it’s just one piece of the equation. If you want to feel well-rested, you have to practice good sleep hygiene. There are so many factors, from sleep environment to what you do before bedtime, that contribute to the quality of your sleep.
To make sure you’re not sabotaging your slumber, make sure you kick these six sleep-hindering habits to the curb.
1. Using Your Phone Before Bed
Playing with your phone, watching Netflix or using any other technology messes up your sleep quality. The blue light emitted from devices reduces your level of melatonin, which makes it take longer for you to fall asleep and causes you to spend less time in REM.
2. Eating A Heavy Dinner
Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime increases your risk of heartburn and indigestion, which can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep.
3. Reading An Intense Book
Reading is usually relaxing, but if you read a nonfiction book that requires a lot of concentration, or something that is exciting or emotional, it can increase cognitive activity in your brain and lead to poor sleep quality.
4. Turning On The Heat
A warm room might feel cozy, but it’s not the best for your sleep. A lower body temperature helps reduce insomnia and improves sleep, so keep that thermostat turned down at night to help your body stay comfortable.
5. Sleeping With Your Pet
It might feel nice to have your puppy sleeping next to you, but those snuggles could come at the expense of a good night’s sleep. Sixty-three percent of pet owners who sleep beside their pets sleep poorly more often than not, according to research from the Annual Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
6. Sitting On The Couch All Day
If you’re not exercising, your sleep will be affected. Studies show that daytime exercise helps improve your sleep quality later in the night.
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