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7 Things That Ruin Sleep

Sleep is a very important part of functioning as a human being. It helps us to relax the tension and our muscles and allows our brain to process the information collected over the course of a day. The recommended time for adults is typically 7 to 8 solid hours a night.

The stress of everyday life makes it hard to get a full night’s rest, but if you identify the things ruining your ability to sleep, your nights might improve. Here is a list of things that might be affecting the way you sleep and causing that terrible insomnia:

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1. Eating Before Bed

You just went shopping today and both the cabinets and the refrigerator are stocked with things to eat. After jumping into bed at 9 pm, you stare at the ceiling wondering what you can eat before you close your eyes for the night.

Even a single glass of water will have you in the bathroom a few times during the night. Having a large meal may also affect you in a negative way. Foods high in acid might provoke heartburn as you lay your head down, causing distress.

2. Staying Awake in Bed

Maybe you’re ready to be in bed but you are not ready to sleep just yet. If you are going to stay awake though, is it really such a good idea to lie in bed and do it? Are you finding yourself repeating this kind of behavior every night you climb under the covers?

Continue doing this and your brain might associate your bed more with anxiety than the relaxing pastime of slumber.

Many people keep a book by their bedside to read and tire themselves out before turning out the lights. If a book doesn’t work, try another activity that will ensure all you want to do in bed is sleep.

3. Too Cold, Too Warm, Too Noisy

Perhaps you are having a ‘Goldilocks’ type situation with your sleep. The living room is too cold, your room is too warm because of the heater, or maybe the room with the best temperature is too close to a noisy neighbor.

To combat possible noise levels pick an ambient sound you find relaxing or wear earplugs to dial down the obnoxious music from the party next door.

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4. Long Naps

Maybe you’re off of work early and you feel like hitting the hay for a short while. Cultures all over the world might be about the afternoon nap.

If you are already finding it a struggle to sleep, afternoon naps might not be the best idea. Daily naps can make it harder to slow your brain down during the night and get a restful night.

If you are very tired during the day it could be a sign of sleep apnea, making it hard to breathe while you are asleep.

5. It’s More Than a Bedroom

It is nice to have a television in the bedroom, especially when you want to stay under the cover while recovering from the flu. Treat your bedroom as the name implies, a place most used for sleep.

Some of us might have a gaming console to entertain ourselves or be on our phone for hours after climbing into bed. The light of a cellphone or television can interrupt our circadian rhythm, making it extremely difficult to achieve a restful night.

Instead of leaving your phone by the lamp, set it in the kitchen for a change and move your TV to another room.

6. Stimulants Before Bed

People often have rituals they conduct right before bed. Some might have a bottle of beer, others might down a cup of coffee, while a few might take a few puffs on a cigarette.

Alcohol is very bad to ingest before bed because of how it affects sleep patterns and can make 8 hours feel like 2. If you are already suffering from sleep apnea, the blood-thinning alcohol can aggravate it.

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Caffeine is bad even if it consumed 4 to 6 hours before bed. Even if you are in bed, you can lie awake even with your eyes closed especially if you are sensitive to it. If you are trying to cut back, withdrawal symptoms may also keep you awake.

7. Staying Too Busy

Who needs a full 8 hours of sleep when you can get so much done during the day? Netflix has a new show out, you can apply for so many jobs, or you can hang out with friends or family you haven’t seen for a while.

Even if you can do more during the day, your quality of work will suffer from the sheer lack of rest. Get rest so that work can be done in a timely fashion and you can genuinely enjoy those get-togethers.

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