In as much as many people will deny it, the majority of the people suffering from sleep problems are suffering due to self-inflicted bad habits and behaviors. If they could just be careful about what they need to do to have restful nights like babies, then the number of people complaining of sleep problems would go down drastically? But the good news is that what is needed to sleep well at night are very simple and they require little commitment to follow along. If you desire to improve the quality of your sleep, therefore, watch out for the following mistakes you are probably making and learn how you can avoid them.
Not having a consistent schedule for going to bed
The body has an internal clock system that is able to regulate falling asleep and waking up only when it is consistent in the time for going to bed and waking up. It is important to establish a very consistent sleep pattern such that even without the help of an alarm, the body’s internal clock will slowly wake you up when it the normal time you usually wake up reaches. But most people never see the need to go to bed at the same time and also to wake up around the same time. As such, they mess up their circadian rhythm and even if they had the best Dreamcloud mattress for extra comfort, they will never enjoy their nights.
Taking long naps to compensate for lost sleep
When someone loses sleep or sleeps for fewer hours than they normally do, there is always a strong temptation to nap during the day in order to compensate for the lost sleep. Though the benefits of napping are not questionable, you will only benefit from it if you do it correctly and for the recommended number of minutes. First of all, it should be understood that napping is not for compensating for lost sleep, but boosting your alertness and productivity during the day. Therefore, if you decide to nap for more than thirty minutes to compensate for the sleep you lost last night, you will be doing more harm than good to your body. Prolonged naps will also affect your ability to fall asleep faster at night, and you may find yourself still awake in the middle of the night because you slept for two hours in the afternoon.
You don’t know how to prepare for bed
Getting to sleep is a process, and it is one you need to master correctly if you want to enjoy your nights. It is important to prepare your bed for the night’s rest by slowing down things, both physically and mentally, but not bringing everything to a sudden halt. The body needs the slowdown process to begin producing neurotransmitters to tell the brain that it is almost time to rest so that it can start to release sleep hormones which will ultimately enable you to sleep well.
As a solution, it is imperative to have a very elaborate wind-down process just before getting to bed. This should start with an electronic shut down where you don’t interact with anything electronic at least two hours before you retire to bed. You should also dim the lights at least one hour to bed and avoid any kinds of a stimulant such as wine or coffee. You may consider a relaxation activity such as taking a warm bath and listening to calming music. In this manner, both your mind and body will get the relaxation they need and you will find falling asleep easy and most importantly, you will have a very deep and relaxing sleep.
Sending the wrong sleep signals to your body
As far as sleep is concerned, the human body need signal to know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to get up. The most important signals for falling asleep and waking up are light and darkness. However, when most people leave work and it is time to get ready to go to bed, they still get exposed to very strong artificial lights in their houses which then confuses the body that bedtime is nearing. Again when people get to sleep, total darkness is needed to allow the body to begin the production of the necessary sleep hormones. But most bedrooms are never pitch dark and there is a lot of interference which inhibits the production of the sleep hormones.
Eating the wrong foods before going to bed
There are certain foods you should never eat before going to bed if at all you desire to sleep well that night. Foods such those with high sugar content should always be avoided because they will interfere with the blood sugar balance and cause unnecessary stress on the concerned organs, in addition to disrupting the hormonal regulation in the entire body. When these happen, the sleep cycle will be affected, and it will also be very difficult for you to fall asleep.
It is always recommended that you should not eat anything immediately before you go to bed, but if you have to eat something, then it should be a high-protein snack that will not cause any hormonal imbalance and will increase the production of melatonin. It goes without saying that you should also not take a heavy meal when you are just about to go to bed. You must allow adequate time for digestion before falling asleep.
Thinking that alcohol will make you fall asleep faster
Because alcohol has sedative effects, some people who suffer from insomnia usually think that if they drink it before going to bed, then they will find it easy to fall asleep faster. However, this is not necessarily true. Alcohol does have some sleep-inducing effects, but when the body finally breaks it down, you are likely to wake up. This is how alcohol does interfere with the sleep cycle during the second half of the night. It implies that if you take alcohol to fall asleep faster, you are likely to wake up early and you will find it difficult to get back to sleep. Simply avoid alcohol before going to bed.