Even if you spend much time exercising and follow a healthy diet, your body is still dependent on good quality sleep to function properly.
If only it were as easy as closing your eyes!
Many of us fail to organize our bedtime properly, and even if we do, it is often fitful and restless. As a result, we experience lower concentration and feel tired during the day.
The good news is, knowing the most common sleep mistakes and ways to fix them can help us become more productive and energetic on a daily basis.
#1 Having a Poor Sleep Schedule
Many of us go to bed at different times either due to busy working and social life or due to unwillingness to develop and follow a healthy sleep schedule.
Sadly, such disorganized sleep patterns have a negative impact on our natural sleep rhythms, leading to insomnia and fatigue. Not having a set schedule is stressful for our bodies, and stress is one of the main factors affecting our productivity. So, don’t be surprised you lack concentration if you go to bed at 11 pm one night and at 3 am the other.
#2 Pressing the Snooze Button
Now, there is nothing bad in using an alarm, but constantly hitting snooze may turn into a bad habit.
Why do you actually need to do that?
Do those five more minutes really make you feel better?
Well, the snooze button may give you those extra ZZZ’s but it hardly provides you with any more energy. To be completely honest, it does the opposite.
When ignoring the alarm, you make it more and more difficult to lift yourself out of the bed. The thing is, by hitting the snooze button, you interfere with the current stage of sleep, which may lead to fatigue, moodiness, mental problems, and poor concentration for the rest of the day.
Thus, the interrupted sleep turns out to be worse than no sleep at all.
#3 Sleeping on a Cheap, Low-quality Mattress
Despite spending a third of our life in bed, we often do not pay much attention to the surface we sleep on.
It is not as if we don’t realize the significance of a comfy mattress. It’s just that we often put a price tag on good sleep.
On average, the life expectancy of a mattress is 7 to 10 years, depending on it’s quality and exploitation conditions. Cheaper mattresses typically wear out much faster than that and become unable to support you properly and provide quality sleep.
But how do you understand that it is your mattress messing with you?
There are a few sure signs, actually:
- visible indentations;
- increased tossing and turning at night;
- morning stiffness and pain in different parts of your body.
But the good news is, even though they may be hard to find, quality but affordable mattresses do exist (here’s a guide on the best place to buy a mattress for you to help). You may also want to also check out Chirofoam for quality memory foam mattresses online.
You can also check out this related article on sleeping with back pain if you want to learn about what sleep position is best for stiffness, what mattress you should choose, and more!
#4 Watching TV or Using Any Digital Devices Before Bedtime
Have you ever fallen asleep while watching TV or surfing the Web on your smartphone?
Whatever your answer is, chances are you use gadgets before sleep, thinking that it doesn’t hurt to lie down on the sofa and lose yourself in the abundance of online content.
But no matter how relaxing this ritual may feel, it can harm your mental and physical health in the long run. The major issue is that the blue light coming from the digital screen can trigger the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that makes us drift off to sleep.
Also, using any digital devices before sleep actually encourages us to stay up later. Any external factor that stimulates the brain before bed is considered to be detrimental to one’s ability to fall asleep. Thus, we disorganize our sleep cycle and develop the habit of falling asleep in late hours.
#5 Eating Before Bedtime
Bad eating habits have a considerable impact on your body, especially when it comes to healthy sleep. Spicy and heavy foods before bedtime could be messing with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
The reason for this is that your body needs to be completely relaxed in order to reach the deepest stages of sleep. Which is not possible if your digestive system is still working while you’re asleep.
But it’s not just that:
Refined sugars can cause some difficulties for hormone regulation to stay in balance. When your blood sugar levels start to bounce, your sleep will most likely be interrupted and you will experience fatigue the following day. Which definitely isn’t how a productive day looks.
What’s even worse, bad eating habits may get you stuck in a vicious circle. They reduce the quality of your sleep, and poor sleep makes you more prone to irrational food choices.
What Can Be Done to Overcome These Sleep Mistakes?
Whichever sleep mistake you are inclined to, it can be difficult to get the balance just right. So, it’s crucial to start analyzing the mistakes you might be making in order to get your sleep as restful as possible.
Here are a few tips that can make your sleeping patterns work for you, not against you:
- Develop a regular sleeping schedule.
- Wake up with the first alarm.
- Make your bed comfortable for yourself, from the softness of your mattress to the color of your bedsheets.
- Start reducing the time you spend using digital devices before going to bed.
- Don’t eat at least 2-3 hours before sleeping.
Addressing your sleep mistakes will equip you with more energy — you’ll be less stressed and more productive. And remember, sleep fitness needs some time and practice, which will be compensated by hours of quality rest.