Those restless nights tossing and turning in bed, wishing you could pass out only to spend hours staring at the ceiling could be a product of your bad habits during the day. You may not realize it, but what you are doing in the morning, afternoon, and evening can affect your body when you lie down and try to get a good night’s rest.
But you don’t have to let your nights be filled with ineffective counting sheep and tossing around. Avoid these few habits during the day and you’ll be fluffing your pillow in anticipation of an extremely restful night of sleep.
1. Stay on schedule
Your body is much more in sync when it is in a routine. Setting a consistent bedtime and wake up time for yourself at a time when you are typically tired will allow your body to prepare the shutting down process and not still be ready for activity. Your body depends on consistency to regulate your sleep patterns. It may not be easy to stick to your schedule, especially on weekends, but it will go a long way towards making sure you get a good night of sleep. You need to calibrate your body’s internal clock, so your brain knows when it is time to sleep and time to wake up.
2. Smart napping
The day after a poor night of sleep is always a slog, and you may be in the habit of catching up on the missed sleep with an afternoon nap. A nap, which is seemingly refreshing you during the day, could be keeping you awake at night. Napping could help you catch up a bit, but it could also lead to insomnia. Limit naps to no longer than 30 minutes and if you are going to nap, take the nap earlier in the day.
3. Late coffee
A cup of coffee after dinner is one of the simple pleasures in life for many people. But that late jolt of caffeine could be one of the reasons you are not falling asleep at night. Try to avoid coffee in the evening, to let your body get tired naturally instead of keeping it awake with caffeine. Caffeine can have an effect on the body up to twelve hours after consumption.
4. Nightly booze
Drinking alcohol may help you fall asleep – it does contain properties that induce sleep – but over the course of the night you will have a much less restful night of sleep. You trade off passing out quickly for a reduced amount of time sleeping through the night. And if you habitually drink, alcohol will likely have a reduced effect putting you to sleep as well.
5. Shut the computer
Many people browse the Internet prior to going to bed. Harmless, right? Wrong! The brightness of the laptop or tablet so close to your face can suppress the melatonin that induces sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you just lower the brightness of your laptop or tablet and you move the screen farther away from your face, it will greatly diminish the effect on your sleep.