Getting a good night’s sleep is important for better health. And though resting may sound easier than dieting and exercise, you can ask any working adults or young person that getting good sleep isn’t as easy as it sounds. Multiple studies have shown that more than 50% of people in the UAE believe they are either sleep deprived or aren’t satisfied with their quality of rest.
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So before you start wondering how you can improve your sleep, let’s identify the mistakes before bed that you may be doing this whole time without realizing it can ruin your precious sleep time.
1. Eat or drink too much
Rookie mistake number one. Eating or drinking too much before bed will disrupt your sleep. Once food or drink enters the body, your stomach needs time to digest it. If you’re already in bed trying to sleep, your stomach will still be processing the food, disrupting your ability to relax. Especially in a laid down position, you’re negatively affecting your rest, as well as your digestion. Not to mention, it will wake you up at night to run to the toilet.
2. Are you watching your caffeine?
Just because some people can drink a cup of coffee or tea before bed without a worry, doesn’t mean you can too. If coffee or tea helps you to relax, that’s great, but don’t let it be the reason why you can’t sleep at night. Caffeine is one of the worst substances you can take before rest as it keeps your brain and body active. Try to avoid caffeine, at least 5-6 hours before hitting the bed.
3. Exercising too close to bedtime
For a lot of people, this may feel like a lose, lose situation. It is because people who have tight schedules in the day tend to exercise after work hours, in the night. This isn’t a good idea as the more intense the workout is, the harder you’ll find it to sleep. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends you avoid any activity that may increase your heart rate for two hours before you want to go to bed.
4. Carrying electronic devices into bed
In this day and age, almost everyone is making this mistake. Scrolling through your social media timeline can be a great time, but it also affects your time to sleep. No matter what type of electronic device you’re using or the purpose for it, leave it out of the bedroom or put it just beside the bed. These distractions will only keep you up for longer.
5. Leaving things to the last minute
Not having a schedule is bad enough for your sleeping hours, and leaving tasks and matters to the last minute makes it worse. By making sure all assignments and important subjects are well attended to before bed, allows you to have peace of mind before you go to bed so that you can be relaxed.
6. Staring at a bright light right before you sleep
Many neurologists have identified that staring at bright lights just before you sleep doesn’t only damage your vision, but also gives you a harder time falling asleep. Especially the bright blue lights emitted from mobile devices. These are known to mess with your circadian rhythm and cause you to stay awake for hours.
7. Not having a set bedtime
Do yourself a favour, and choose a time to sleep that is consistent, realistic and doable. By not knowing what time you’re going to sleep, your sleeping patterns will be off, you have no idea of your energy levels the next day, and you have no real desire to have a better night’s rest. Along with eating and exercising, set a time to sleep every night.
If you are already practising better sleep rituals and avoiding these mistakes before bed, you shouldn’t have a problem with sleeping at night. However, it isn’t as easy for people who have medical complications or health concerns.
If you have a mental disorder, a physical disability that may cause you to stay up or cause you physical discomfort, counteracting the above pre-bedtime mistakes may not be enough. That is the right sign for you to speak with a doctor who will be able to advise you about the best course of action.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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