In many respects, good sleep is earned. It is not something that just comes along out of nowhere.
Moreover, the pandemic has made it more challenging for many people to get good sleep as well. This has been attributed to high amounts of stress triggering chronic insomnia. Therefore, with so much at stake, there can be no room for errors in your schedule here.
You can make many rest-related blunders both before and while you turn in. Fully understanding where you stand here can help you get things back under control and bed down peacefully for the night.
What are the types of things you should be looking out for here? Well, here are some of the common sleep mistakes you could be making regularly.
Not Doing Enough
If you are not tired at a reasonable hour, something is wrong. You must not interpret this as being some type of superhuman who can stay up longer than others without consequence.
Being tired at the right time means you have spent your day productively doing healthy things. For instance, exercise can help you get off to sleep better, allowing your body to recharge and nurture the growth of your muscles overnight.
Try to fill your day with more stimulating activities that will come in the evening, more easily lull you into rest. Take hikes, hit the gym, or do some yoga – anything to give your body a full cycle of both winding up and winding down.
After that, you will have the building blocks of a robust sleep schedule. If you struggle for motivation in exercises and activities, take some friends or loved ones along with you. Social stimulation can be rather exhausting, too, after a while, especially for introverts. Stay busy, and you will sleep better for it.
Not Recognizing Sleep Deprivation
Many people attribute sleep deprivation to fainting at work or nodding off at mealtimes. Still, the signs and symptoms vary greatly and can certainly be more subtle.
There are more obvious tells, such as yawning more frequently or your eyes feeling heavy. However, try to look out for changes in your general behavior and energy. If you have a shorter temper all of a sudden, that can possibly be down to sleep deprivation. A lack of focus and interest in other areas of your life can also indicate that you are not getting enough rest.
Consider how you wake up as well. Do you launch yourself out of bed and hit the morning routine with vigor, or do you turn your alarm clock off several times before finally getting up at the eleventh hour. If you are pushing your luck for a few seconds of extra sleep in the morning, then while common to do so, it can be indicative of a serious problem.
Know yourself. Once you are confident in who you are, it is easier to spot any irregularities in your demeanor. If you drift through life acting on impulses alone, you will not be able to identify if you are sleep-deprived until you are on the verge of collapsing into unconsciousness.
Though electronics are everywhere, they should have a minimal presence in your bedroom. Technology can impede your ability to sleep significantly.
Rise Science advise against sleeping with the lights on, as darkness is best to lull you into rest. Their resources further explain that lights, and especially blue lights, can disrupt your pattern and make you start accumulating sleep debt. Things can soon spiral out of control after that, so reading their resources should help you mitigate these circumstances.
Of course, it is not just about the electric lights damaging your sleep quality. Smartphones addictions can be tough to beat. If you are frequently lying in bed with an urge to respond to texts or check social media, your mind will be racing, your body fidgeting, and ultimately, sleep will be the last thing on your agenda.
If you still require some type of light or stimulation, you may have some options. A dim lamp in a concealed corner of the room might help. Reading a book instead might help reduce your exposure to screen glares and social media addictions if you want to engage with something before bed. Remember, the aim is to sleep, so the more boring the text, the better!
Eating Before Bed
It is never a good idea to eat before bed. This gives your body, more specifically your digestive system, more work to do right as it should be winding down for the night.
If you eat and then lie down to sleep a few hours later, digestion issues may occur that can disrupt your sleep as well. Heartburn and acid reflux can cause immense discomfort here and drastically reduce your chances of sleeping soundly.
Try to stop eating around three to four hours before bed. That way, you can give your body plenty of time to settle. Be kind to yourself. Resist the urge to snack, and remember, you can have a delicious breakfast in the morning!