7 Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Sleep
Because you’re tired of being tired
Well, duh, of course you woke up like a complete zombie—you stayed at that work happy hour waaaay after your bedtime. But if you find yourself hitting snooze like your life depends on it even when you hopped into bed at 9:30pm, it may be time to break these seven habits in the name of a good night’s rest.
Scrolling Through Facebook Before Bed
You’ve probably heard about the damaging effects of “blue light” from electronics. (Basically, it mimics daylight, which is understandably confusing for your body after dark.) One solution, of course, is to unplug a few hours before bedtime, but the next best thing is an extension like f.lux, which automatically adjusts your screen when the sun sets.
Not Spending Time Outside
Just as you should avoid fake daylight at night, you should make a point to spend some time in actual daylight to help regulate your internal clock. Sitting by a window helps, but a midday walk is even better. (Just make sure to wear SPF, but you knew that.)
Having a Drink
Heartbreaking, we know. But while a glass of wine might feel like it helps you nod off, it actually leads to poorer quality sleep because it disrupts your REM cycle. All is not lost, though: Just make sure to finish your last drink four hours before bed, to give your body enough time to process it.
Skipping a Workout
Some days a leisurely breakfast is a lot more enticing than a sweaty spin class, but here’s yet another motivator for you: Studies show that people who get regular exercise (2.5 hours a week) get better sleep and feel less tired overall.
Having a Late-Night Snack
It may be tempting to graze on popcorn while you catch up on The Get Down, but too much food right before bed can lead to indigestion at night. Give yourself an hour to digest, and aim to eat foods high in sleep-promoting nutrients throughout the day: tryptophan (dairy, seeds, eggs), magnesium (leafy greens, fish, avocado) and vitamin B6 (nuts, flax, bananas).
Keeping Your Room Warm and Cozy
OK, maybe this hasn’t been a priority during the summer months, but as temps drop, be wary of cranking the heat too much. Your body needs to maintain an ideal temperature for sleep, and a toasty room throws that out of whack. Aim for 60 to 70 degrees, and avoid heavy pajamas. (Yes, there’s a benefit to sleeping naked.)
Not Listening to Your Body
If you know drinking coffee after 4pm keeps you up, don’t make an exception just because you’re walking by Toby’s Estate. (FYI, it takes six hours or longer for the caffeine in a single cup to wear off.) You’ll thank yourself later.