It's no secret that getting a good night's sleep is essential for overall health. However, there are several factors that can negatively impact our sleep, and sometimes we don't even realize it. Here are nine sleep wreckers that you may not have considered:
Sleep wrecker 1: Overeating at dinner
Eating large meals late at night can cause problems with sleep because they can interfere with the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. When you eat a large meal right before bedtime, your body has to work hard to digest all of the food. This can keep you awake and restless throughout the night.
If you are struggling with insomnia, try eating smaller meals during dinner and avoid eating anything heavy within two hours of bedtime. This will help your body relax and get the quality sleep you need.
Sleep wrecker 2: Watching TV or digital gadgets at night
It's 11 p.m. and you're watching tv or scrolling through your social media feeds for the hundredth time tonight. You should be getting ready for bed, but you can't stop watching the Korean drama series, videos of baby animals or people doing exciting stunts. Sound familiar? If you're like most people, you've probably had trouble sleeping at some point because you stayed up too late watching TV.
There's nothing inherently wrong with watching TV in the evening, but it can be a problem if it keeps you from getting enough sleep. It is recommended to get no more than two hours of screen time before bedtime. Watching TV or digital gadget can make it harder to fall asleep and harder to stay asleep throughout the night.
If you're having trouble sleeping, try turning off the TV and putting away your phone earlier in the evening and spending some time winding down before bed.
Sleep wrecker 3: You do work in bed
Working in bed is a common habit, but it's one that can rob you of the sleep you need. When you work in bed, your body associates the bed with wakefulness. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you can't sleep, get out of bed and do something calming until you feel tired enough to sleep again. Reading or taking a bath are good choices. Once you're sleepy, go back to bed and try to relax. Don't use your bed for anything but sleeping... and sex.
Sleep wrecker 4: Having pets in bed
Many people sleep with their pets in bed, but this can actually keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Pets can often be disruptive and keep you up at night. If you're trying to get some shut-eye, it's best to keep your furry friend out of the bedroom.
Sleep wrecker 5: Drinking alcohol before sleep
There's no question that alcohol can help people fall asleep faster, but it's not a good idea to rely on it for regular sleep.
Alcohol initially depresses the nervous system, which can help people fall asleep. However, as the alcohol wears off, it has the opposite effect, causing people to wake up more frequently and feel less rested. In addition, drinking too much alcohol can disrupt the normal sleep cycle and lead to problems such as snoring and night sweats.
Sleep wrecker 6: Undiagnosed GERD
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition that can cause discomfort and difficulty sleeping. GERD is caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus. This acid can irritate the lining of the oesophagus and cause symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.
Sleep wrecker 7: Stress and depression
Do you know the feeling? You're exhausted, but your mind races and you can't get to sleep. This is a common experience for people who are under stress. It's not surprising that stress and sleep problems are often linked.
There are several reasons why stress can interfere with sleep. Stress hormones like cortisol can keep you awake by increasing alertness and energy. When you're stressed, it's also common to have racing thoughts or worries that keep you from falling asleep. Finally, if you're chronically stressed, your body may become conditioned to be awake when cortisol levels are high.
Sleep wrecker 8: Hormones fluctuation
For women, insomnia can be caused by fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormones can cause difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This is especially true during the week before your period when estrogen levels are higher and progesterone levels are lower. Other times when hormone fluctuations can cause insomnia include the week after your period, during menopause, and when you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Sleep wrecker 9: Bladder problems
Many people suffer from bladder problems and cannot sleep because of the discomfort. Nocturia is a common problem where you have to go to the bathroom frequently at night. This can keep you from getting a good night's sleep.
Cut back on fluids before bedtime. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration and make the problem worse. If you are overweight, try to lose weight. Extra pounds put pressure on your bladder and can aggravate the problem. Exercise regularly to help tone your pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control.
Don't underestimate the importance of sleep!
There are many things that can interfere with our sleep without us even realizing it. By being aware of these sleep wreckers, we can take steps to avoid them and get the rest we need. So if you're having trouble sleeping, take a look at your daily routine and see if you can make some changes. And don't forget to relax before bedtime and create an environment that is conducive to sleep.