Want to get a great night’s sleep? Make sure you’re not making these sleep mistakes.
Exercising close to bedtime
While regular exercise does promote good sleep, exercising too close to bedtime can interfere with your sleep. This is because the immediate effects of exercise elevate stress levels, and cause an increase in body temperature — both of which will interfere with you being able to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Eating and drinking too much before bed
Similarly, eating and drinking too much before bedtime is another sleep mistake as it can prevent you from having a great night’s sleep. Going to bed with an overfull stomach can cause indigestion and interfere with your sleep. If possible, try to finish eating about two hours before retiring. Drinking too much can also increase the chances of an interrupted night due to the need to go to the toilet. Always aim to eat and drink sensibly, making sure you’re not hungry or thirsty, or too full before going to sleep.
Drinking caffeine before bed
For many people caffeine has a stimulating effect, which means that it can interfere with your ability to sleep well. One of the biggest sleep mistakes people make is drinking too much, or drinking it too close to bedtime. For most people, the general recommendations are to avoid caffeine in the hours leading up to bedtime. However, everyone is different so if you have trouble sleeping, keep track of your caffeine intake during the day, and how you sleep that night.
Too much screen time
While it may feel relaxing, spending too much time on your electronic devices before bed can severely disrupt your sleep. That’s because the blue light suppresses melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in our sleep-wake cycle. Electronics also stimulate the brain. Experts recommend a 1-2 hour buffer of electronic-free time before bed, and engaging in more traditional ways of relaxing such as reading, listening to relaxing music or taking a bath. This is particularly important for children, many of whom relax at night by playing electronic games.
Alcohol, smoking and other stimulants
Another common sleep mistake that people make is drinking alcohol and smoking before bedtime. Alcohol produces both sedative and stimulating effects. The sedative effects make you initially drowsy, which can help you fall asleep faster than usual. However, a few hours later, the stimulating effects kick in, causing a poorer night’s sleep over all. Nicotine also has stimulating effects which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can also cause you to experience sleep disturbances and wake up feeling restless. To get a great night’s sleep, try to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking before bed.
Not having a bedtime routine
Having a regular bedtime routine can be the difference between sleeping well and not. The best advice is to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Make time to unwind at the end of the day, and engage in relaxing activities before bedtime.
Sleeping on the wrong mattress
It sounds obvious but sleeping on the wrong mattress is a common sleep mistake. Many people put up with mattresses that are lumpy, uncomfortable or squeaky. To guarantee a good sleep, you need to ensure that the mattress you are sleeping on is supportive and comfortable.
If your mattress has seen better days, let us help you choose the right one for you. We have a range of options to suit all members of the family. Come in store or browse online today.