Don't Make These Nighttime Bad Habits a Regular Problem
By Stepy Kamei
In today's hectic society, getting a good night's sleep is a harder goal to achieve than it should be. There are simply way too many distractions, both physical and psychological, that can keep us from obtaining the kind of truly deep rest that help us feeling refreshed and energized throughout the day. You may think that taking control of your rest is out of your hands, but there are actually quite a few ways you can ensure you're getting the sleep you need every night. Before you turn to sleeping pills or more serious forms of help, see if your main problem is simply that you're falling victim to some very common bad sleep habits. If you work on getting rid of these unhealthy habits and swap them out for better nighttime routines, you may notice an increase in how well-rested you feel during the day.
Not Setting a Schedule/Routine
The human body thrives on regularity, and there's no exception when it comes to sleep. Many people make the mistake of having a set schedule during the work week, only to throw that by the wayside during weekends, vacations, and holidays. Sleeping in for more than one hour for even just one day can be enough to throw off your body for days to come, making it that much more difficult to get back into a routine during the work week. Try to go to bed and wake up within 30 minutes of your usual time, regardless of what's going on in the week.
Taking Long Naps During the Day
Naps are wonderful, I agree. Like most wonderful things, they're generally best in moderate doses. Indulging in a two-hour nap during the afternoon is only going to mess with your sleep cycle in a way that will make it harder to fall asleep naturally at night. Keep your naps under 30 minutes, and don't nap after 4 p.m.
Not Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Your bedroom should be catered to your sleep needs. Block out any artificial light by keeping electronics out of the room and hanging blackout curtains for a dark atmosphere. Keep the temperature cool, so you don't wake up during the night sweating or shivering. You may benefit from practicing meditation or yoga in the bedroom shortly before falling asleep to help the body and mind relax and unwind. Keep this all in the bedroom so you begin associating that room with sleep and rest.