For a lot of people, a good night’s sleep is an elusive thing. No matter how hard you try to quiet your mind and relax as soon as you lie down, you just can’t quite seem to fall asleep when you want to. Other people find that it isn’t falling asleep but staying asleep that is the most difficult.
If you’re on the hunt for a better night’s sleep, you might be surprised to learn that things are getting in your way. Here are four things that could be disrupting your sleep without you even knowing it.
1. The Wrong Pillow
Where you lay your head at night is more important to the quality of sleep that you get than you might imagine.
Even though you might love your soft, traditional pillow, anyone who has a hard time staying asleep might be experiencing a lack of proper neck and head support when they sleep.
The best thing you can do is switch out the pillow you are using for something that is designed to support your neck better than a traditional pillow, like a sleeping wedge pillow. Such a pillow can bring relief to acid reflux and heartburn sufferers as well.
2. Your Phone
That’s right, the screen of your smartphone could very well be the culprit when it comes to poor sleep quality.
Devices like televisions, smartphones, and tablets emit what is referred to as “blue light”. This light makes it harder for your brain to produce the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a chemical that helps calm your mind and lets you not only fall but also stay asleep.
Try putting the phone away about an hour before bedtime to give your brain a better chance of producing melatonin.
It is a commonly held belief that having a glass of wine or some other nightcap before heading to bed is an excellent way to relax and improve your ability to fall asleep.
Unfortunately, though, this is completely false. Consuming alcohol close to bedtime, even in small quantities, can also stop the production of melatonin in your brain as well as causing further disruption to your circadian rhythm.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine with dinner so long as it isn’t too close to bedtime.
Everyone knows that one of the keys to a happier, healthier lifestyle is to get enough exercise.
Not only does a regular exercise regimen contribute to better overall physical wellness, but it can also improve your mental wellbeing too. Those who are in the habit of getting their exercise in before bed, though, might be putting a damper on their sleep.
When you exercise, your body produces hormones like adrenaline and endorphins that generally help you to stay pumped and get the most from your workout. These hormones can really get in the way of a good night’s sleep. Switch your workouts to the morning or afternoon so that your body has enough time to calm down before bed.