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October 12th, 2017

 

1.     You don’t have a consistent routine

Many people think that sleeping in late on the weekends makes up for getting up early on the weekdays, but it’s actually better to keep a consistent routine throughout the week.  Your body naturally adjusts to waking up at a certain time, which helps you stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night.

2.     Your room is too loud

Many people, especially those who live in big cities, are used to honking horns, ambulance sirens and noisy neighbors at all times of day. However, this noise pollution could be impacting your sleep. Try using a white noise machine, listening to music, or using ear plugs to block out the noise.

3.     You’re on your computer and phone before bed.

The blue light from electronic devices can prevent your body from releasing melatonin, the hormone that signals it’s time to go to bed. Experts recommend shutting down electronic devices at least an hour before bed. If that isn’t possible, trying switching your devices to ‘night mode’ which reduces the amount of blue light that comes from the screen.

 

4.     You ate too soon before bed

Eating immediately before bed can lead to indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux, all of which can keep you awake at night.  In one study, when participants ate a meal containing Tabasco sauce before bed, they took longer to fall asleep and slept less overall. Maybe next time, save those buffalo chicken wings for lunch.

 

5.     You’re using alcohol to fall asleep

Although having a glass of wine or two before bed may help you fall asleep faster, alcohol actually leads to poor quality sleep. Drinking alcohol before bed can reduce REM sleep, which is thought to be the deeper, more restorative phase of sleep. Alcohol can also lead to sleep apnea, which is when breathing stops during sleep.

 

6.     You’re having caffeine late in the day.

Many people turn to coffee and other caffeinated beverages in order to stay alert and awake throughout the day. However, the stimulating effects of caffeine can linger for as long as six hours after consumption, interfering with your sleep.  Limiting afternoon caffeine intake may help you sleep better.

 

7.     You napped too late in the day

While a 20 minute nap maybe help you recharge, napping for too long can disrupt sleep later that night. Sleeping for longer than 20 minutes may make you feel groggy when you wake up. Napping late in the day may make it more difficult to fall asleep when bedtime comes.

 

8.     You exercised too soon before bed.

Exercising can help you sleep better by tiring out your body and reducing stress. People who exercised for as little as 20 minutes were found to fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep than those who didn’t exercise. However, for some, exercising too close to bed time can make it harder to fall asleep. Exercise raises body temperature and heart rate and releases adrenaline, which may make it harder to wind down for bedtime.