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Short on Sleep? Here's What NOT to Do

By Sandy Schroeder

As we try to cram more into each day, losing too much sleep can happen all too quickly. First, you may just feel a little tired. Then, before you know it, you are walking around yawning and wondering if anyone would notice if you just napped in a corner for a bit.

But the real trick is to get back to “Sleep Heaven,” where you actually log in at least seven hours (or more) of sleep, and get up feeling reasonably alive.  Getting back to a good sleep routine every night may take some effort. But here are a few things NOT to do, according to

Coffee Prop-Ups – To be reasonably tired at night, it is a good idea to shut down all coffee in early afternoon,  giving your system time to clear out the caffeine. If you drink coffee throughout the day, you may collapse at night, and then pop back up, or not sleep as deeply as you would without caffeine in your system.

Weekend Up and Downs – Almost everyone loves a Saturday or Sunday morning late sleeping session, where  you get up about 10 or 11 a.m., and enjoy a lovely brunch. Later you talk to friends, and head out in the evening, staying up until 1 or 2 a.m.,  or whatever.  No need to hurry – it’s the weekend! The weekend turns out fine, but when you collide with Monday morning you may be exhausted, and your sleep routine may be wrecked.

Daytime Naps – If at all possible avoid napping during the day. If you are going to have to drive, or complete some other critical task, and your eyes simply will not stay open, just take a short half hour nap, preferably in early afternoon. Otherwise, napping during the day will seriously impact your ability to sleep at night.

Early Bedtimes – Giving in to the urge to just doze off on the couch mid-evening, or actually trotting off to bed quite early, will sabotage your regular bedtime routine. When I do this, I usually awake about 3 a.m., and think about life for an hour or two while consuming innumerable calories!

Electronics – Blue lights from screens are not conducive to sleep, and roaming the internet right before you go to sleep is guaranteed to keep you awake longer.

Smoking or Alcohol – Shut down smoking and wine at least an hour or two before bedtime. Better yet, stop smoking, and enjoy your wine earlier in the evening with dinner.

If you avoid all of these sleep traps, and try to go to sleep at the same time each night, you should have a good shot at regaining your normal schedule. 

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