Photo Credit: kannada.boldsky.com
Getting to sleep at night can be a challenge. We all know about the obvious do's and don't's about getting to sleep like: don't drink coffee in the evening or do keep a regular sleep schedule, but, there are other things you could unknowingly be doing at nighttime that are keeping you from getting the rest you need. Check out our list so you can avoid these common mistakes and get a great night's sleep. Sweet dreams!
1. You 'need' to fall asleep with the TV on.
This is an easy mistake to make. Personally, I often fell asleep with the television on because I liked the background noise and so I would have something to do (other than feel frustrated, of course) when I couldn't sleep. The reality is, I did fall asleep eventually, and, more often than not, the television was on so I thought that was an effective solution to my insomnia. Although it seemed to help, blue light from LED-based devices like televisions increase the release of cortisol in the brain (making you more alert) while inhibiting the production of melatonin (the hormone that lulls us to sleep), therefor making it ultimately more difficult for me to sleep AND interfering with my quality of sleep as well. Don't make the same mistake I did. If you like background noise, invest in a sound machine; they are made specifically with this issue in mind. If it's distraction you crave, try a book instead.
2. You share your bed with your partner and your pet.
It's a common misconception that sleeping is a passive activity. Have you ever watched your dog sleep? Their legs kick, they snore, they even let out the occasional bark. The bottom line is, we all create some level of disturbance or distraction as we sleep. According to sex and relationship expert Dr. Jess, some couples are even opting for a 'sleep divorce,' sleeping in different bedrooms, to get the rest they need. As Dr. Jess explains, though this is an effective solution if your partner's snoring, for example, is keeping you awake, not everyone has an extra bedroom to put this plan in place. To minimize disturbances so you can sleep, we recommend, firstly, to get your pet a bed of their own--that will take care of at least the physical disturbances of sleeping with a pet while giving them their own special place to sleep, and you can keep it in the bedroom if you like so you can still all be near each other. Secondly, if your partner does something in their sleep that seriously disturbs your sleep like snoring very loudly, talk to them about it in a gentle way and come up with a solution together. This could mean simply wearing nasal strips to bed. If you let it build up without letting them know there's a problem, you're more likely to feel not only frequently tired, but also resentful, which can lead to eventually snapping on your partner and creating a larger issue. If it's your partner moving around a lot in their sleep that's keeping you awake, you can also invest in a mattress made with memory foam--this will help to minimize the disturbance you feel from their movement.
3. You wear the same pj's all year.
Your body temperature plays a key role in your sleep cycle. While wearing the same flannel pajamas year round may be comfortable and cozy, it can be disturbing your sleep cycle and keeping you from REM sleep, or, feeling restless and uncomfortable, keep you from falling asleep in the first place. Try changing it up and saving the flannel for winter, and trying a light cotton for summertime.
4. Your bedroom isn't dark enough.
Light regulates your circadian rhythm, so even the smallest bit of light in your bedroom can mess with your melatonin levels. To prevent this, try using room-darkening blinds to keep out any light from street lights or even a really bright moon, closing your bedroom door so no light from the hallway sneaks in, and using an eye mask.
5. You're sleeping on an old mattress.
The lifespan of a mattress is 7-10 years. A mattress older than that will not only become uncomfortable, but also collect dead skin cells and dust mites that can irritate allergies, keeping you awake. If you can't remember exactly how old your current mattress is, take off the fitted sheet and look at the condition it's in: does it have spots where it visibly sags? When you purchase your new mattress, file the receipt with your important home-related documents so you will be able to tell next time you are wondering how old your mattress is.
6. You go to bed before your ready.
The easiest way to find yourself laying in bed frustrated about not being able to sleep is to crawl in before you're ready. When you go to bed, make sure you're at least a little bit tired. If you are finding that you are not tired at your usual bed time, try waking up earlier and avoiding napping throughout the day so when you finally do hit the sheets, your body will welcome sleep rather than resist it.
Sleepenvie is a Canadian online mattress-in-a-box and bedroom lifestyle brand that focuses on customization, convenience, and charitable contribution.
We make the mattress-buying process easy by delivering it directly to your door in one easy-to-handle compact box. We strongly believe in customizability, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. An easy one-minute quiz matches you to the ideal mattress for your lifestyle and sleep habits.