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10 Bedtime Habits Ruining Your Restful Sleep

By Emily Lockhart

Chronic pain, computer usage, snacking late into the evening…all of these factors are bound to keep you up at night! And what’s worse is if you don’t correct these surprising bad bedtime habits you can end up with chronic insomnia and associated health problems due to sleep deprivation.

Are you guilty of any of these ten bedtime habits that are ruining your chances of a restful night’s sleep?

1. A Too Full Tummy

Despite common sense, many of us cave to a snack attack before bedtime or simply eat dinner way too late in the evening.  A large amount of food consumed shortly before bedtime means that your digestive system is working in overdrive to digest it, which means your sleep patterns will be disrupted.


2. Artificial Light

The body is lulled to sleep thanks partly to a soothing chemical called melatonin. However, you won’t catch the sleep bug unless you’re surrounded by darkness, which means sitting in front of a bright television or bathed in artificial light won’t put you in the mindset for slumber.


3. A Full Bladder

Many of us drink a glass of water before bedtime. However, too many liquids before bed will keep you up during the night and running to the bathroom.


4. Nix the Electronics

It may help you fall to sleep after you catch up on all of your emails and check the buzz on all of your social networks. However, the artificial light from your computer screen will keep your body and mind stimulated and unable to fall to sleep.


5. Lack of Bedtime Routine

You can signal to your body that you’re readying for rest with a structured bedtime routine that you repeat each and every night. For instance, making your lunch, laying out your clothes for the next day, brushing your teeth, and washing your face before bed will help put you in sleep mode.


6. Pain

Back ache, headache, joint, and tooth pain—there’s no doubt that chronic pain hurts your chances of a restful night sleep. If you suffer from sleep deprivation due to chronic pain, talk to your doctor.


7. Cold Tootsies

And I’m not talking about your lack of commitment; I’m talking about the lack of circulation to your cold, frigid feet! During colder months, cold feet can really keep you up. However, slipping on a pair of fleecy footwear will improve circulation in your extremities and lull you to sleep faster.


8. Skip the Stimulants

Nicotine, soda, caffeinated tea, chocolate, and coffee are all stimulants that will hang out in your body, accelerate your heart beat, and prevent you from sleeping for up to 4-hours after consumption.


9. Stress

Work stress, financial stress, and marital anxiety all put the neurotransmitters in your brain on high alert, which means your brain will stay active and sleep you’ll often end up with insomnia over the long term if you can’t kick the source of stress in your life.


10. Snoring

There are 37-million chronic snorers in America and if you suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke—or if your spouse is a chronic snorer, you are probably not able to fall asleep due to the lack of restful silence.

 

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Emily Lockhart

Contributor

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

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