3 Things You’re Doing Wrong Before Bed

3 Things You’re Doing Wrong Before Bed

The following post is sponsored

If you’re lying in bed for hours, feeling miserable because you can’t manage to fall asleep, you may be the cause of your own misery. The way that people act before bed definitely affects their sleep/wake cycle. Especially if a person suffers from insomnia, sleeplessness and frustration are something he or she may have to deal with every night.

If you can’t seem to get quality sleep, you may want to consider taking a sleeping pill or a supplement. You can read up on the benefits of supplements on to compare different brands and choose which supplement may help you. However, there are a few changes you can make in your life to improve the sleep you are getting and help you finally achieve REM sleep. Read on to see how bright LED-lights, alcohol, coffee and the lack of a bedtime are all harmful to getting enough restful sleep.

1. Using Your Screens

These type of screens aren’t the windscreens on cars. It refers to the screens on your iPad, iPhone, or TV. The time you spend staring into these screens is negatively affecting your sleep quality. Research shows that the melatonin levels in your brain are greatly lowered when exposed to any kind of light, including the bright LED-light from your screens. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in your brain that rises as it gets dark. This hormone not only helps you feel tired, it also helps you reach REM sleep which is harder to do with a lack of melatonin. It is usually added into natural sleep supplements so you can fall asleep more quickly. So, put down your phone an hour before bed and relax with a book.  If you have an e-reader like a Nook or Kindle, make sure the screen is as dark as possible because even the light from a dim screen can keep you awake.To prepare for the best sleep conditions, you should dim the lights to start feeling sleepy, because the longer you’ve been exposed to bright lights, the longer it’ll take you to fall asleep.

2. Drinking Alcohol/Coffee

You should avoid drinking both alcohol and caffeine before bed so you can actually fall asleep and reach REM sleep. REM is the most restorative sleep cycle you can reach, and without falling asleep deeply enough, you may feel restless and exhausted after waking up. Caffeine sometimes does not affect people and they can peacefully fall asleep with no problems, but it shifts your sleep/wake cycle so you won’t feel tired until much later at night. Alcohol has similar effects, but adds more unpleasant symptoms. Alcohol may help you fall asleep quickly by raising adenosine, or a chemical in your brain that makes you fall deeply asleep. But then, the adenosine wears off, waking you before you can sink into a deep enough sleep to reach an REM state. This is why you may not feel rested after a heavy night of drinking. Alcohol also makes you need to pee way more often than usual, waking you up in the middle of the night. If you do want to indulge, switch to decaf at least six hours before bedtime, and cut yourself off from alcohol at least two hours before bed.

3. Falling Asleep Whenever

The easiest way to keep up with your circadian rhythm, or natural sleep/wake cycle, is to go to bed around the same time every night. Once your brain knows that it is time for bed, it begins to release melatonin and starts preparing for sleep. If you have a different bedtime every night, you won’t get that rise in melatonin that would really help you fall asleep. Keep to the same bedtime every night so you won’t constantly be tossing and turning, waiting to fall asleep.

The Best Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping due to bad sleep habits or severe sleep problems like insomnia, you can change three different things to improve your sleep hygiene. You can dim the lights and put your screens away in order to fall asleep faster. You also know now to avoid caffeine before bed, and cut off your alcohol consumption, too, so you can fall asleep and stay asleep. Keeping to a bedtime will also help you drop off, so don’t keep making the mistake of staying up late because it’ll be much more difficult for you to feel tired the next night. Hopefully you can follow these tips and finally be in sync with your circadian rhythm.

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