5 mistakes to avoid before bed for better sleep
Have you ever woken up feeling tired and lethargic despite sleeping for seven to eight hours at night? It could be due to poor sleep quality. Disturbed sleep influences the rest of your day: how you think, your performance at work, and other tasks. The causes of poor sleep are many, including a faulty mattress, distractions in your room, or a heavy dinner. Avoiding the following mistakes before bed can help you sleep better:
Staring at a screen
Using gadgets close to bedtime is probably the most common mistake in the digital age. The blue light emitted from screens affects the production of a specific hormone responsible for inducing sleep and regulating the circadian rhythm. Apart from the blue light emission, the television or mobile phone sound can be a distraction that keeps you awake. High noise levels create lots of mental stimulation and disturbance, preventing the brain from shutting down. Hence, it is advisable to avoid using phones, televisions, and laptops for at least an hour before bed.
Exercise is among the best solutions for good health, but you must do it at the right time. Physical activity late in the evening or at night hampers sleep patterns by increasing stress and raising body temperature. The only exercise recommended before bedtime is light stretching and simple yoga. These help relieve muscle tension and relax the body and mind, preparing them to drift asleep. You can perform intense exercises in the morning or earlier in the evening. If you have some spare time before sleeping, use it for sitting down and reflecting on the happenings of the day instead of exercising. It will help you fall asleep faster.
Making poor food choices
A meal with lots of refined carbs and sugar is unsuitable for dinner as it can keep you awake at night. It causes your blood sugar to spike and eventually crash, disrupting your sleep cycle. Have something light that you can digest quickly. Coffee, tea, and chocolate are bad as their caffeine content acts as a stimulant, preventing you from getting into the deep stages of sleep. It is the period when the body heals, hormones are released to control vital body functions like cell repair, and the immune system gets a boost. Further, drinking too much water two hours before going to sleep can cause you to wake up frequently at night to go to the bathroom.
Worrying about problems
Every new day comes with its troubles and challenges, but thinking about them excessively at night can lead to stress. You might find yourself constantly tossing and turning in bed, finding it hard to fall asleep. The best thing to do is empty your mind of the mess by writing down your thoughts in a journal before sleeping. Reflect on the day, declutter your mind, and decide on a plan for tomorrow. This is also an excellent time to practice meditation: light a scented candle, breathe in deeply, and quieten your mind. Or, use the one hour before bedtime to connect with your family or partner, read a book, or listen to music. After diverting your mind, you will find yourself falling asleep.
Being exposed to bright lights
Sometimes, lights from the street or the neighboring apartment may enter the bedroom through the window, making it hard to sleep. Get an eye mask or heavy curtains to block the light in such a situation. Also, ensure all the lights in your room are dimmed or switched off. The absence of light regulates the body’s internal clock, signaling that it is time to sleep. It also helps produce certain sleep-inducing compounds. Besides darkness, the right temperature matters. Keep the bedroom too hot or too cold, and you will wake up often.
You must avoid these common mistakes before bedtime for better sleep quality. Having the right mattress is also essential for sound sleep. Here are a few vital things to remember when choosing a mattress.
The trick is to get a mattress that is not too firm or hard on the back but also not saggy and soft at the same time. It should be just enough to support your spinal alignment and offer comfort. The preference can vary from person to person.
Different mattresses are available, such as innerspring, foam, and hybrid. An innerspring mattress has metal wires covered with fabric and a system for circulating air. This makes it cooler. However, the springs tend to wear down over time. A foam mattress could be made of different types of foam with tiny air pockets. Finally, hybrid mattresses combine steel coils with foam and cloth to last longer. Consider your budget before investing in a good bed, as the cost can vary depending on the type. Hybrid and innerspring options are more durable than foam mattresses.
Poor sleep patterns impact mental and physical health, resulting in heart-related ailments, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. It can also hamper metabolism and endocrine functions. These ailments, in turn, affect sleep, resulting in a vicious cycle. Beat this cycle by avoiding unhealthy habits and investing in a good mattress.