Even if you are tucked in bed at an appropriate time, classic sleep mistakes can still hold you back from grade A snooze. If you want to get the benefits of sleep, which decrease health risks such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, memory loss, and early death, here’s everything on your schedule you should NOT do:
4:30pm- Chug some coffee: You think it’s a good idea for another pick me up, but it takes 8-10 hours for your body to completely process caffeine, keeping you up tonight at your bedtime.
9:00pm– Load up on protein: A heavy dinner, especially one primarily made up of protein, is likely to cause sleep disruptions as your digestive system tries to break it down.
9:30pm- Stress out: The more you stress about not being sleep when you are suppose to be, the harder it will be to get your much needed shut-eye.
10:00pm- Go for that nightcap: the immediate relaxing effect of alcohol is tempting, but as the alcohol wears out throughout the night, you’ll face plenty of sleep disruptions.
10:05pm-Turn on the TV: Besides the sleep-hindering blue light coming from the screen, choosing a show with lots of action triggers stress hormones that will keep you awake.
11:05pm- Watch Netflix on your laptop: Since you didn’t find anything, you might as well continue TV binging in bed with Netflix. The production of melatonin, your sleep-promoting hormone, is delayed.
11:07pm-Cuddle with your pet in bed: As cute as your little guy is, his squirming and barks are disruptive to your sleep. It’s even worse if you are allergic to animal dander.
11:35pm-Think about work: Worrying about an upcoming presentation, getting a new account or if your boss likes you, does not help you to unwind. It’s hard to sleep with all those anxieties floating around.
11:55pm- Stress some more: Staying in bed as you worry and can’t sleep builds more anxiety and makes it even harder to sleep. Consider getting our of bed or reading a book for a bit.
6:55am- Hit the snooze button: You are sleepy from being up all night and 10 more minutes sounds good, but you are critically disrupting your natural sleep cycle.
If you are guilty of anything on this list, note that small changes can have a big impact on the way you sleep. For high-quality sleep that will get you off to a great start every day, practice healthy sleep hygiene: keep your room cool, dark, quiet, cut off electronics an hour before bed and stay relaxed!