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5 Harmless Habits that Lead to Sleepless Nights

Getting enough sleep is essential for a strong and healthy body. However, sleep deprivation is a typical problem nowadays due to various factors like our habits. Oftentimes, our daily practices may seem harmless, but some of them can affect our ability to fall and stay asleep in a negative way. To give you a better view, here are the common habits that cause insomnia.

1. Drinking Too Many Fluids

Most of us drink coffee to energize our bodies throughout the day. While this habit is beneficial in the morning, sipping caffeinated beverages in the afternoon can result in sleepless nights.

Keep in mind that caffeine has the ability to stop the effects of adenosine, one of the natural sedatives of our brain. The problem is that caffeine can stay in your body for hours. Thus, if you drink coffee or any caffeinated drinks in the afternoon, you may still feel caffeine’s stimulating effects during your bedtime. If you have insomnia, experts recommend avoiding caffeine after lunch.

But, caffeine is not the only cause of your sleeping problem. Alcoholic beverages may also disrupt your slumber. Initially, alcohol can make you feel drowsy, but it can also wake you up in the middle of the night and prevent your body from getting deep or restorative sleep.

As a solution, you can try sipping a warm cup of chamomile tea to calm your mind and help you fall asleep. But, as a general rule, you should avoid drinking water or any beverage an hour before bedtime.

2. Using Electronic Gadgets

Today, one of the most common habits that cause insomnia is using electronic gadgets before sleeping. These devices can affect your sleep in various ways. First, your tablets and smartphones emit a blue light that can hinder your body from producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Aside from that, using your gadgets can also stimulate your mind. This is especially true if you do activities such as answering emails, playing online games, and watching videos.

Because of these negative effects, experts recommend turning off your electronic gadgets one or two hours before bedtime. To relax your mind, you can try reading a book or magazine.

3. Exercising at the Wrong Time of the Day

Exercising regularly can provide numerous health benefits, including better sleep. However, in some case, working out at the wrong time of the day may trigger insomnia.

As you know, when exercising, your body releases various brain chemicals that uplift your mood. However, during this time, your body also produces the stress hormone cortisol. Normally, we have high levels of cortisol in the morning. But, as the day progress, our cortisol levels should drop to the lowest range to help us sleep. Having high levels of cortisol at night can lead to insomnia because the stress hormone can block our body’s melatonin production.

Thus, if your workout is negatively affecting your sleep, you can move your exercise routine in the morning. Aside from better sleep, morning workouts can also boost your metabolism and productivity.

4. Overthinking

Aside from those habits that cause insomnia, overthinking can also prevent you from falling asleep and getting a good night’s rest. In fact, this is a common problem for most of us. When we lie down on our beds, our inner voice starts to speak and remind us of our daily stresses, concerns, and worries. For most of us, these never-ending thoughts are hard to control. But, there’s always a solution.

Instead of overthinking, you can do anti-stress activities before going to bed. Taking a bath can help relax your muscles and nerves. Meditation is another excellent activity you can do to clear your mind and achieve serenity. For beginners, various guided meditation apps and videos are available to help in your practice.

5. Having an Erratic Bedtime Schedule

A common recommendation to help treat insomnia is to follow a daily sleep and wake schedule. Through this, your body will be able to get used to your
activities and function efficiently. But, that’s not all. According to experts, having a regular bedtime routine can also improve your sleep quality.

A great example of a bedtime schedule is to set your alarm an hour before you go to sleep. You can use the first 20 minutes to finish your to-do list. For the next 20 minutes, you can spend it for your nighttime beauty rituals like taking a bath. Finally, you can use the last 20 minutes to relax your body and mind by meditating, doing yoga, or reading a book.

Overall, if you’re having a hard time falling and staying asleep, you need to evaluate your daily routine. As much as possible, you have to avoid doing these harmless habits that cause insomnia.

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