5 bad habits that prevent you from that restful sleep
Can’t switch off your thoughts in the bed? Does your mind accelerate even when your body pushes the brakes? Chances are you may have some poor sleep habits that need mending.
1. Exposure to devices:
Television, computer, tablet or smartphone: which one is it that you use in the bedroom? The light from these electronic devices has a shorter wavelength compared to natural dusk time longer wavelengths. A study in adolescents found that evening use of devices resulted in longer time to fall asleep, awakenings in the night, morning sleepiness and difficulties with attention and concentration. Devices have also been found to decrease sleep efficiency, total sleep time, deep sleep and REM sleep in adults too.
2. Poor Sleep Hygiene:
Clean and dry bedsheets, comfortable mattress and bedding, not using bedroom for work related activities, relaxed sleep position, ambient temperature and setting a fixed time to wake up are some good sleep hygiene practices. You may already be aware of them, but are you following them diligently? Make a sleep ritual as shown in the figure.
Coffee and smoking should be avoided later in the day for those with sleep problems. Hidden sources of caffeine include cola, chocolate and cold medications. Abuse of drugs like amphetamines can also cause insomnia. What about tea? In case you are a tea expert, avoid those with caffeine like Earl Grey while consume ones with Chamomile.
Diet containing protein fibre and amino acids such as tryptophan can positively affect your sleep. On the other hand, energy drinks, skipping breakfast, high calorie diet and eating irregularly can be detrimental to your sleep.[4,5] Despite the fact that a high fat or carbohydrate rich meal reduces the sleep onset time but in reality, it compromises the overall quality of sleep (reduced deep sleep and sleep efficiency) The conclusion: A balanced diet is your best bet. Thinking of adding a sleep supplement to your diet? Read our blog on ‘Herbal sleep aids that are clinically effective’ to choose the best of them.
5. Addressing the cause of it:
Stress is a common cause of insomnia, which should be addressed. Stress is the way your mind tries to thinks of possible solutions to pull you out of problems. However, flogging a dead horse seldom yields results. You must prioritize to destress and switch off worries in order to be ready for tomorrow’s battles. Other cause behind insomnia can be medication: medications for Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) like Adderall, some diuretics, anti-depressants, anti-asthma drugs and many others can interfere with your sleep. Diseases like depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia and breathing conditions like asthma and allergies can also cause insomnia. These should best be addressed by a health care practitioner.
Feel you have already tried these tricks without any luck, read our blog on How to beat Insomnia the natural way?
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- Green A, Dagan Y, Haim A. Exposure to screens of digital media devices, sleep, and concentration abilities in a sample of Israel adults. Sleep Biol Rhythms 2018;16(3):273–81.
- Chang A-M, Aeschbach D, Duffy JF, Czeisler CA. Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2015;112(4):1232–7.
- Kamal M. The effect of sleep and relaxation Benson on improving the quality of sleep among heart failure patients: A literature review. Int J Nurs Health Serv IJNHS 2019;2(1):101–7.
- Halson SL. Sleep in Elite Athletes and Nutritional Interventions to Enhance Sleep. Sports Med Auckl Nz 2014;44(Suppl 1):13–23.
- St-Onge M-P, Mikic A, Pietrolungo CE. Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. Adv Nutr 2016;7(5):938–49