We all have specific bedtime routines, don’t we? Some like to read a book before bed and some like to take a walk to tire themselves out. There are several bedtime habits that should be avoided and the worst part is that people are often not even aware of them.
Sleep is the time of the day when the body rejuvenates and recharges itself. If you don’t get enough sleep, it is likely that the same will end up affecting your health for the worse.
Here, we are going to share some of the bedtime habits that are bad and how you can break these habits for quality sleep and better health.
Bad sleeping habits to avoid
“I will keep my phone aside and just go to sleep”, said no one ever.
Every time that you try to make up your mind to just go to sleep, it is likely that your fingers will scroll through another Instagram post. And, before you know it, its midnight.
Don’t try to lie. Majority of us do this every single night – I do too. But, the worst part is, I know it’s a bad bedtime habit and I still can’t get myself to avoid it.
Much like this one, there are a few other bad sleeping habits that you need to avoid for a healthy and fruitful well being.
Some of the most common bedtime habits that you should be avoided include:
1. Exercising right before bedtime
It is healthy for you to exercise but doing it 30 minutes before your bedtime isn’t.
Exercising has been associated with the release of endorphins and cortisol in the blood stream. The sustained levels of the same are associated with your body being in a state of excitement.
What this results in is lack of quality sleep. You will likely have a very hard falling asleep if you exercise before bedtime.
To be fair, even that varies from person to person. If you are someone who feels more alert after an exercise session, avoid doing it right before bedtime.
2. Eating or boozing close to bedtime
Be true to yourself, how many of you finish your dinner and go to bed right after?
Chances are that the answer is quite more than what we would like to imagine.
This is where we need to put a stop.
One of the most common bedtime habits that should be avoided is eating or drinking alcohol close to your bedtime.
Eating heavy meals right before bedtime can make you feel uneasy and full throughout the night, resulting in bloating.
Not just that, even drinking alcohol does have negative impacts on your health, especially by making your body dehydrated and making you wake up in the middle of the night, parched.
Experts suggest that you should at least maintain a 2 hours gap from your last meal and drink. Following that, drink just water if you feel thirsty.
Additionally, it is also important that you avoid eating or drinking anything in the bedroom itself because the lingering smell can keep you awake.
3. Giving into the desires
So, you started watching a Netflix series during the evening and haven’t been able to stop watching it because anything could happen in the next episode.
But, when you are consistently binge watching the show, it is likely that the same will end up making you not stop.
Sometimes all you want is to watch just another episode till it becomes 5 more.
It is very easy to give into our desires but at the same time, it is also one of those bad sleeping habits to avoid.
The last thing you want is to not keep a track of time and end up staying awake till late at night or early in the morning only to have to wake up again in the morning for school or work.
This lack of sleep does end up taking a toll on your health and can affect the degree of alertness the next day.
4. Drinking too many glasses of water
Many people do have the habit of drinking a few glasses of water before bedtime should be avoided. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.
One of the most common reasons behind the disruption of sleep is because of your urge to pee.
If you drink a lot of water before bed, it is likely that you will end up having to wake up multiple times during the night.
This disrupts your sleeping pattern and can end up making you wake up groggy the next morning because of the hampered quality of sleep.
Maintain at least an hour gap or drink half a glass of water before bed to just keep yourself hydrated.
5. Using mobile phones and laptops
If you are someone who likes to binge watch movies or scroll through your phone before bedtime to make yourself tired and then fall asleep, trust me, it is not going to work.
On the contrary, it is going to end up doing the complete opposite of that.
The blue light from the mobile phone or any other tech device inhibits the smooth release of melatonin which is hormone responsible for regulating your sleep cycle.
Avoiding screen time, at least an hour before bed is important. If required, keep your phone away from your bed or where you can have easy access. This will eventually prevent you from reaching out for it.
You can read a book instead to tire yourself out instead of being reliant on these gadgets.
6. Thermostat set at high
If you want to get some quality sleep, it is important that your body and the room is cool enough.
The last thing you want is to experience unnecessary warmth in the room because of the thermostat. It is harder for your body to fall asleep when the overall room temperature is very high.
This is the reason why it is important that you always see to it that your room temperature is between 15-20 degrees because that is what helps ensure better quality of sleep.
When your body is cool, it ensures that you wouldn’t have to wake up in the middle of the night with a sweat and suffocating feeling.
You can either reduce the temperature of the AC or increase the fan or even stick a foot out of the blanket. These usually help.
7. Investing on a bad quality mattress
Even though this might not typically part of the bedtime routine, this does require a required mention.
If you have been having a hard time sleeping, it is likely that your mattress is to be blamed for it.
Even if you don’t have a good bed, investing on a mattress is a necessity that you can’t miss out on.
Buying a cheap quality mattress can contribute to discomfort during the night, which is possibly the last thing that you want.
Try and ensure that you do invest on a good quality mattress because that is what matters at the end of the day for quality sleep.
8. Being a workaholic
If you tend to have a habit of working late at night, till your bedtime, it is likely that your body is going to be affected by it.
The reason this is considered one of the bad sleeping habits to avoid is because it affects your body’s stress levels.
When you are constantly pushing your boundaries and trying to get that assignment done and dusted late at night, it is likely that the same will end up taking a toll on your brain functions.
Even when you are tired, it will take you quite some time to fall asleep as the brain is in a constant overdrive after your work.
It takes a little bit of time for it to settle and for you to be able to go to sleep.
9. Pulling all nighters
There is no point compensating for the lack of sleep through the weekdays only for you to sleep in during the weekends.
That is not how things work.
Our body needs optimal amount of sleep every single day. It is necessary for you to have a set circadian rhythm and ensure that the same has beneficial impacts on your overall well being.
Pulling an all nighter day after day will eventually catch up to you and make you regret the decision.
But, when you rarely sleep during the weekdays and try to compensate during the weekends, it is likely that you are affecting your sleep cycle even further.
When it comes to bedtime bad habits, both all nighters and unnecessary sleeping in are bad for your health.
10. Not having a bedtime routine
As weird and cliché as it might sound, one of the most common bedtime habits that should be avoided is not having a bedtime routine.
Having a routine sets discipline in life which is the reason why it is important that you have one for yourself.
It doesn’t need to be something very extensive. You can easily start out small and then work your way up from there.
You can simple start by taking a bath, brushing your teeth, doing some skincare routine and then retiring to bed. It never has to be something over the time.
It all comes down to your preferences and needs.
How to break bad sleeping habits?
It is true that breaking a habit is never easy. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it at all. It is pretty easy and with consistent practice, it does become a lot easier for you to manage through them in a creative way.
To be honest, there are a number of bedtime habits that are bad and it is likely that you are doing majority of them knowingly or unknowingly.
That aside, there are a few ways in which you can easily overcome these habits for a better life.
Have a set bedtime or sleep routine
The first and the most important way to get rid or break through these bad habits is by introducing some discipline in your life.
You want to maintain a constant and regular routine for the bedtime that you can then work on.
Make sure that none of them are over the top or unrealistic. This is where things get complicated. Instead of that, focus on setting small and doable routine tasks.
These can effectively help keep a track of the progress and once you get a hang of the routine, it becomes easier for you to abide by it.
Your dinner time matters a lot when it comes to your bedtime.
If you are someone who tends to eat and then fall asleep, you are unknowingly sabotaging your health.
It is thus very important that you eat your dinner a few hours before your bedtime.
This allows the meal to settle well in your stomach and ensure proper digestion and absorption of the nutrients from the meal.
You want to ensure that you maintain 2-3 hours buffer time between your last meal and your bedtime.
Avoid excessive caffeine
Many people do have the habit of drinking tea or coffee before bedtime.
Try and cut out coffee altogether before bedtime, even if there is a 2-3 hours buffer.
Even for tea, stick to the herbal teas like lavender which have beneficial impacts in helping with your sleep quality.
Additionally, it is important that you have some time in between your bedtime and consuming these liquids.
But, for the best results, I would suggest not drinking any kind of caffeine infused drink in the evenings.
Prepare your bed
Even though this does sound like it’s part of the bedtime routine, it is worth mentioning separately as well.
The organization of the bed that you sleep in does make a lot of difference.
If your bed is a mess with clothes and things scattered around, it is likely that the same will end up affecting your sleep quality.
This is the reason why preparing your bed before your bedtime is a good way to break the bat habit.
We discussed about the bedtime habits that should be avoided and we are curious as to which ones you have been indulging in. If you have been having a hard time sorting things through, we would suggest that you take a breather and see what mistakes you are doing. This itself can help things fall into place better for you.