Which Sleep Mistakes Should You Avoid to Awaken your Best?
Night after night, for all your life, you have hit the pillow and drifted off to dreamland. Next, you know, you wake up feeling refreshed in the morning after catching seven to eight hours of proper rest. But what if this suddenly stops happening one night, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot sleep?
Not resting well is a serious problem since it disrupts your slumber and affects daytime productivity. Since sleep coordinates your brain and body, it is vital for the overall functioning of your system. Your hormonal regulation, mood, appetite, alertness, and immune functioning everything depends upon sleep. But what can one do to resolve sleep problems? Well, for starters, you can stop making these sleep mistakes that might be responsible for keeping you up!
What are some common sleep mistakes that you must avoid?
Not taking time to unwind
Many people believe that falling asleep is easy. After all, you only need to jump into bed and wait for sleep to come. But, this is a misconception. As soon as you close your eyes, a switch doesn’t trigger, making you sleepy. For dozing off, all your body’s key functions, like brain wave activity, breathing, body temperature, and heart rate, need to slow down. And these processes take time.
Creating an appropriate rest environment is vital when you are ready to sleep. To make this happen, you can read, listen to calming music, use a dodow, practice breathing exercises, or take a warm shower. People wondering how to sleep properly are advised to take a few minutes to sit in the dark, calm their minds, and do nothing before heading to bed.
Compromising sleep for work
We all compromise our sleep for work, fun, or other purposes. We think missing a few hours of rest is okay since we can make up for it on weekends. But this is not how it works. While sleeping an hour more on Saturday can help compensate for lost sleep on Friday, the extra sleep isn’t as restorative. A study shows that it takes four days to recover from one hour of missed rest. Thus, a vital sleeping tip is to make sure to catch on seven to eight hours of rest every day.
Bringing electronics to the bedroom
Using electronic devices in bed, be it your phone, laptop, or tablet, triggers poor sleep. Since these devices radiate blue and white light, they throw off your internal body clock. The light is thought to be coming from the sun, so your brain suppresses the need to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone) and keeps you awake. Also, using these devices keeps the brain active. So whether it is for the last episode of your favourite series, an urgent work mail, or checking your Instagram feed, using electronics compromises sleep.
Having one too many glasses before bed
Having alcohol at night may make you drowsy and send you to sleep quickly, but it is problematic. Alcohol is a sedative that pushes you into a deep sleep in little time. It creates an imbalance between REM and slow-wave sleep and makes you spend more time in the latter and less time in the former. As a result, you catch poor quality rest and short sleep duration. Another problem with alcohol is that as soon as its effect wears off, you start spending more time in lighter sleep stages, resulting in poor rest. Thus, one crucial tip to catch on a night of good sleep is not to have too much alcohol before bed.
Sleeping too hot
To fall asleep, you must maintain the right temperature in the room. It is so because a part of the process of falling asleep is decreasing the body temperature. Thus, you need to maintain a relaxed environment in the room by setting the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees F. If you feel chilly, cover yourself with a light blanket.
Thinking you need less sleep
One of the most common sleep mistakes we make is to think we need less sleep than we actually do. Since our body is functioning well, we believe it must be okay. But, we must remember that the human body is resilient and that it is working doesn’t mean you are at your best. Even when you don’t realise it, your body is underperforming when you are not well-rested.
Experts suggest that while it is true that different people need varying amounts of sleep, clocking between seven and nine hours does the most good. When you are well-rested, you wake consistently at the same time without using the alarm clock.
Sleep is necessary for your overall health and well-being. So, if you are consistently failing to catch on a good night’s rest, try making some improvements. Avoid making any of the above-mentioned sleep mistakes if you have slipped into some of them for resting peacefully.