If you do not wake up from a full night’s sleep feeling rested, you may be suffering from bad sleep habits. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of medical conditions (including high blood pressure and obesity), so if you're guilty of any of these bad sleep habits, break them now.
Waking up later on weekends
Your body wants consistency when it comes to your sleep schedule. When you alter your sleep schedule on the weekends, you may suffer from weekend jet lag on Mondays.
Sleeping with the heat turned up
Your body needs a cooler temperature for sleeping. It cools itself a little to induce sleep, and that will happen more quickly if the temperature is around 68 degrees. Too hot and you may find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Not having a bedtime routine
Your body responds to a bedtime routine, just as it did when you were little. You may not have someone singing you a lullaby and tucking you in, but reading a book or meditating every night before you go to bed signals to your body that it’s almost time to sleep.
Winding down with your smartphone
Anything that is stimulating right before bedtime can interfere with sleep. A smartphone does nothing but stimulate the brain. If you need to wind down before bed, you can try knitting or another activity that requires less thought.
In addition, try not to reach for your phone when you wake up in the middle of the night. This will only make it harder for you to go back to sleep. Instead, try lying quietly, concentrating on your breathing or counting backwards from 300 to lull yourself back to sleep.
Checking the time in the middle of the night
It’s hard not to check the clock when you wake up in the middle of the night; you want to see how close you are to wake-up time. Unfortunately, this causes anxiety and elevates hormones in the body that make you feel alert.
To combat this, you can try facing the clock toward the wall or moving it away from the bed. You can also remove the clock from your bedroom and use the clock on your smartphone instead.
For more information about sleep disorder services at The Christ Hospital, click here.