Do you toss and turn during the night or have trouble falling asleep? You’re not alone. The American Sleep Association finds that 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. have at least one sleep disorder.
Some common sleep disorders are insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. But, you don’t have to have a sleep disorder to struggle with sleeping at night. There are many other things like stress, poor sleep hygiene, and more that can keep you awake.
If you’re wondering what keeps you up at night, this article can help:
1. Using Electronic Devices
Studies show that 44 percent of people sleep with their cellphone next to their bed. Are you one of these people? Using electronic devices like cellphones, computers, and tablets may be causing you to lose sleep.
While it can be tempting to crawl into bed after a long day and scroll aimlessly through the interwebs, you may want to think again. Our electronic devices use blue light rays to depict their pictures on our screens. These blue light rays can harm our biological clock in a significant way.
Blue light wavelengths work to boost our alertness, mood, and reaction times during technology use. While this is a positive feature during working hours, it’s not ideal for winding down at the end of the day. Not only can excessive blue light reduces our quality of sleep, but some experts suggest that it may be linked to more serious health issues.
We recommend putting your phones, tablets, and computers away at least one hour before bed. You may also consider not watching television during this time. This can help signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep rather than work or play.
2. Late-Night Snacking
Another common, yet potentially harmful habit is late-night snacking. If you’re anything like me, you might crave something sweet before crawling into bed. While it might be difficult to kick this habit to the curb, it may help you get a better night of sleep.
If you eat large meals or snacks high in fat, sugar, and calories close to bedtime, your body’s natural processing may keep you up. Several hours after eating, your digestive system is hard at work to break down food and nutrients to distribute throughout the body. This can boost your energy and create feelings of restlessness when trying to relax.
We recommend eating your meals and snacks no less than three hours before bed. This can give your body ample time to break down foods. We also suggest taking supplements to boost natural melatonin production.
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, helps signal to your brain and body that it’s time to sleep. These great sleep vitamins contain melatonin, magnesium, theanine, and vitamin B6. If you must have that sweet treat before bed, consider taking one of these vitamins with it.
3. Overworking Yourself
This is something many of us are guilty of. While it’s important to meet deadlines and get your work done, there’s nothing more important than your sleep and health. As one of the best pieces of advice for a better bedtime routine, avoid overworking yourself too late at night.
More than 83 percent of workers in the U.S. report feeling stressed out about at least one aspect of their job. If you carry this stress home with you during times of rest and relaxation, you’re likely to struggle with falling and staying asleep. There should be a set time and place for you to devote your energy to work, and it shouldn’t be the bedroom.
One way to avoid overworking yourself late at night is to create a work schedule and stick to it. Consider listing your responsibilities in an agenda or notebook and allotting work hours during the day. This can help you plan both your working time and your resting time.
If you work from home, we also recommend not conducting work or business in your bedroom if possible. Consider working in the living room, office area, or outdoors if you can. Associating your bedroom with sleep and relaxation can help your mind wind down at the end of a busy day.
4. Late-Night Exercising
Keeping your mind and body healthy is a top factor in getting better sleep at night. But, exercising the body too close to bedtime can have adverse effects on your sleep. Late-night workouts and rigorous activity can amplify your body, making it more difficult to relax.
Exercising has many incredible benefits like endorphin production and stress reduction. Also known as the natural feel-good chemical, endorphins can boost your mood and improve overall health. But, too many endorphins before bed may cause difficulty when falling and staying asleep.
Exercise and rigorous activity that engages your muscles can also cause restlessness. This is an uncomfortable and inconvenient feeling when winding down at night.
Consider not exercising or engaging in strenuous activity at least five hours before bed. This may help your body feel calm and sleepy at night.
5. Not Prioritizing Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is one of the most important, yet overlooked factors in getting better rest. Having a set sleep hygiene routine can make a significant impact on your rest each night. Sleep hygiene can consist of many things like following a nightly schedule, cleaning your room and bedding, and much more.
One of our top tips to achieve better sleep hygiene is to invest in your bedding. Consider using silk pillowcases and bedding for a more comfortable, healthy, and hygienic night of sleep. Silk material is better for your hair, skin, and body temperature regulation throughout the night.
Another way to have better sleep hygiene is to follow a nightly schedule. This may consist of taking a calming bubble bath, applying skincare products, and reading before bed. Or, you might set reminder alarms on your phone for when to lay down each night.
These improvements to your sleep hygiene may seem minor, but they can help you achieve incredible sleep in the long run.
Whether it’s too much technology or not enough sleep hygiene, there could be many answers for what keeps you up at night. By making these small changes to your nighttime routine, you may achieve the quality of sleep you deserve.