Struggling to feel energized during a busy day? It's most likely due to your lack of healthy sleeping habits. Studies show that 1 in 3 adults don't get enough sleep on a regular basis and in many circumstances, it boils down to a few bad habits that should be addressed. Poor sleeping habits can lead to a variety of issues including increased stress levels, insomnia, mood swings, accidents and a risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
It's quite obvious that a solid night's sleep is necessary for a long and healthy life, so we've put together our list of the top 6 tips for better sleep and what habits to avoid in the process.
1. Eating and drinking too close to bedtime
Steer clear of unhealthy snacks, alcoholic drinks and large meals before bedtime to avoid poor quality sleep during the night. Certain foods and drinks cause some people to wake in the middle of the night suffering from acidic reflux or dehydration. We recommend stopping the intake of any solid foods or drinks other than water, two hours prior to bedtime to allow your body time to digest. Also, avoid eating in the bedroom where smells can linger which can keep you awake and hungry.
2. Technology in the bedroom
For most of us, our phones are connected to us at the hip. Where you go, so does your cell phone, which means you get in the habit of checking it on a regular basis. But have you ever considered how technology affects sleep? Consider making your bedroom a tech-free zone by putting your devices on silent mode earlier in the evening, moving the television into the living area and limiting screen time in advance of your last hour before bed.
3. Your bedroom is too warm
Our bodies have a unique way of naturally relaxing in cooler temperatures initiating the sleeping process. Keeping your bedroom between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius (60-67 degrees Fahrenheit) allows your body to naturally cool down while you sleep, so you don't wake up with sweat or discomfort. Try using a free-standing cooling unit or central AC for best temperature regulation. Many people even stick one foot out from under the covers -- often this will lower your body temperature just enough so you can easily fall asleep!
4. Pulling all-nighters, oversleep on weekends
If your typical sleep schedule varies drastically from weekday to weekend, then you may want to consider making some adjustments. Consistency is key to developing healthy sleeping habits that improve the overall quality of your sleep. Although sleep in on weekends can feel like a luxury, it can disrupt your natural body clock and create problems later down the line. Utilize sleeping apps or the Bedtime function on your iPhone for gentle reminders of when it's time to get into bed.
5. You don't unwind before bedtime
Do you have a relaxation regime? It's easy to take your laptop into bed and finish replying to the last few emails of the day. The problem is working up until the moment you go to bed can make falling asleep more difficult because it doesn't allow you time to unwind. Set yourself a goal or turning off any work-related devices 30 minutes prior to getting into bed, so you can utilize the time for meditation, reading a book or just relaxing.
6. You don't wash and change your bedding
Sleep hygiene and proper bedding play a large part in creating healthy sleeping habits. Be sure to follow guidelines on when pillows and sheets should be washed and replaced. It's ideal to wash sheets on a weekly basis and replace all pillows and bedding once every year or two years. If you cannot remember when the last time was you changed your bedding, chances are it needs a refresh. Look for brands that promote long-staple cotton, true thread counts and high-quality materials for the ultimate shuteye experience.
Learn more about improving sleep.