9 Problematic Sleeping Habits That Are Damaging Your Health

Have you been dealing with restless nights? These problematic sleeping habits may be the cause!

Did you know that the way you sleep can affect your health? Your body and mind desperately need rest to function properly. But if only it were as easy as shutting your eyes. If the statistics are anything to go by, good-quality sleep is hard to come by nowadays.

A recent study that analyzed sleeping patterns during the lockdowns found that nearly two-thirds of Americans suffered a negative impact on their slumber during this period.

While we might have eliminated the restrictions, many have been left with quite a few problematic sleeping habits since then. To help you get over this hump, Indulging Health has decided to explore the ways the right kind of rest can aid you in your everyday life.

So, if you’ve been having trouble sleeping, these 9 problematic sleeping habits might keep you up at night!

Problematic Sleeping Habit
Photo by fizkes at Shutterstock

Problematic sleeping habit: Your taking long naps throughout the day

A typical mistake we unintentionally make when it comes to shuteye is that we take long naps during the day to make up for our restless nights.

But the reality is that long naps during the day can mess with your sleep schedule and make it even more challenging to fall asleep at night. If you feel like you need a nap during the day, try to get a short nap of 30 minutes max, and it should be before 4 pm.

Taking a brief nap after lunch and before the evening can help re-energize you. Just be sure you keep your nap somewhere between 10 to 30 minutes.

Problematic sleeping habit: Staying in bed even when you can’t fall asleep

Did you know that staying in bed even if you can’t sleep is an unintentional mistake many people make? You may think that forcing yourself to stay in bed will help you fall asleep faster.

But doing this can cause your brain to believe that your bed isn’t a place where you get your Zzzs but where you toss and turn. So rather than staying in bed, you can try to do something that helps drain you.

Read a book, fold laundry, organize your bedroom, or do something mindless. These activities will help your brain unwind and your body feels exhausted, which can help you fall asleep. Just be sure to avoid any screen time when trying this.

Problematic sleeping habit: Wearing the same pajamas all year round

There’s a saying that goes, “What you wear matters.” And apparently, that even goes for while you sleep. Your body temperature plays a significant part in your sleep cycle.

A slight drop in temperature induces sleep, says an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California. That means being too cold or too hot can stop you from getting a good night’s rest.

Silk bead sheets and pillowcases are ideal, according to Sleep.org, because they keep you warm when you’re cold and cool when you’re hot. But if silk is a bit over your budget, try breathable cotton in the warmer months and cozy flannel when it’s cold.

Problematic sleeping habit: Not being in a sleep-friendly environment

Another problematic sleeping habit that we usually tend to ignore is having a sleep-friendly environment. To improve your sleep quality, it would help if you fixed three things: get the right night, a quality mattress, and sleep in a noise-free bedroom.

Suppose you’re guilty of making these mistakes. In that case, it’s probably time to invest in some better lighting. Red light works best, according to a sleep advisor. And acquire a mattress that’s not only comfortable but also supports your sleep.

Last, but not least, try to control the extra noises around you. You can try using earplugs or a white-noise machine.

Problematic Sleeping Habit
Photo by PeopleImages.com – Yuri A at Shutterstock

Problematic sleeping habit: Drinking too much coffee during the day

One of the most common mistakes people make regarding sleep deprivation is consuming too many caffeinated beverages throughout the day. Coffee acts as a drug that can make us feel alert and increase our adrenaline.

Drinking it in the morning can help you get a kick-start on your day. But the reality is that caffeine can contribute to poor sleep quality.

If you depend on caffeine, it’s best to keep your consumption to one or two cups during the day and try to consume it before 4 pm. If you’d like to drink it at night, switch to decaffeinated drinks like herbal tea.

Problematic sleeping habit: Taking your phone to bed

We’re probably all guilty of doing some last-minute scrolling on our social media pages before going to sleep. But this is a mistake that might be costing you your well-deserved rest. The blue light from our TVs, phone screens, or laptops can make it tougher to fall asleep.

If you need to do something before falling asleep, try listening to a sleep podcast or reading a book right before bed. If you can’t seem to put your phone down, switch your settings to night mode, which switches the display colors of your phone screen to warmer hues.

Problematic sleeping habit: Eating before bedtime

Eating a high-carb meal right before you go to bed has a similar impact on the body as alcohol does. It makes you feel sleepier and sedated, but your sleep will be interrupted.

Also, what generally happens is that the energy gained from the meal wears off throughout the night, and then you wake up. That’s the point when you’ll feel hungry, sending you to the fridge for a midnight snack.

Devouring food before bedtime means the body has to metabolize it and get hotter, making it more difficult to sleep because our body temperature naturally drops before bed to influence a feeling of drowsiness.

The secret is to enjoy healthy complex carbohydrates like beans, whole wheat, and greens and eat them at least a few hours before sleep.

Problematic sleeping habit: Not having a suitable bedtime routine

Another one of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to sleeping that many of us are guilty of is not having a proper bedtime routine. The bedtime routine isn’t just for the kiddos anymore. Adults can also benefit from having a proper nighttime ritual.

Doing this can help your brain think that it’s time to get some shut-eye. Your routine can look different from anyone else’s, though. So, try experimenting with other activities to figure out what’s best for you. To begin, you can try the following things:

-Setting a proper sleep environment by using blackout curtains
-Set a cool temperature and minimal noise
-Doing something relaxing like taking a warm bath
-Read a book

Problematic Sleeping Habit
Photo by Miljan Zivkovic at Shutterstock

Problematic sleeping habit: Not unwinding before going to sleep

The last mistake we wish to discuss that people make before going to sleep is not taking the time to unwind. To be able to fall asleep, your brain has to shut down, your heart rate must slow down a bit, and your body temperature needs to drop.

You can’t just do this the second you get into bed. It simply doesn’t work like that. Before lying down, try to relax a little. Listen to soothing music, take a warm bath, or do some nighttime yoga. This Meditation Floor Pillow from Amazon can help you relax.

While too much or too little sleep can ruin your sleep schedule, repeating the above problematic sleeping habits can mess up the quality altogether. We hope with this information, you’ll start getting your sleeping patterns on track.

And if you like this article, we highly recommend also reading: 8 Incredible Forest Bathing Benefits to Boost Your Health

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