The choices we make throughout the day can ultimately interfere with how well we sleep. If you’re having trouble getting good sleep each night, the things you’re doing during the day may influence your sleeping habits. This article will review some common daily habits that interfere with a good night’s sleep. Read on to pinpoint five common ways you might be unintentionally ruining your chances at quality sleep.
1. Limit Caffeine Consumption
Drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages throughout the day can immediately cause problems with sleep. Some people are sensitive to caffeine, and others, drink it too late into the day.
If you drink a cup of coffee just a few hours before bedtime, you’re unlikely to have enough time for the caffeine to move through you before it’s time to hit the hay. It takes a while to process caffeine, which means the longer it takes to leave your system, the longer you’ll feel awake and alert.
Drink your caffeinated beverages before noon to give your body time to finish processing caffeine before bed. Determining how much deep sleep do you need can also help you determine when it’s time to curb your caffeine each day.
2. Separate Work And Sleep Environments
If you tend to work from your room, you likely have piles of paperwork, desk supplies, and your work computer lying around. Having your work environment within your sleeping environment is not so great for sleep. Sleep is the time to relax and let go of stress. If you see stress everywhere you look, you’re probably not going to get the best sleep.
Do yourself a favor and put your work responsibilities to the side! Leave your work materials in another room or at least out of sight so you can enjoy your bedroom and sleep without as many thoughts drifting through your mind.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
While we won’t pretend that deep breathing is a cure-all, we do know that practicing deep breathing can slow you down. You can slow your heart rate, relax your muscles, and engage the parasympathetic nervous system by taking a few deep breaths.
For the best outcomes, try paced breathing. If you’re a bit anxious before bed, consider taking up deep breathing practices to slow down so that you can get better rest.
4. Practice Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra means “yogic sleep” and is a practice anyone can do from the comfort of their bed. Focus on the weight of your body against the mattress. Feel the weight of the bed supporting you, and mentally scan through your body from head to toe.
By focusing on the weight of different body parts, the mind stays distracted with a calming task, and you focus on being in the present moment with your body. As a somatic meditation, Yoga Nidra can effectively help you drift off to sleep.
5. Get Enough Sunlight
Natural circadian rhythms play a significant role in how we sleep. During the day, if you are not getting enough sunlight, you will have a hard time falling asleep at night.
We need to be up in the morning, engaged outside in the sun, so that by the end of the day, the night signals to our brains that it’s time to rest. Don’t throw your natural rhythms off by staying inside with closed blinds.
The Bottom Line
Getting better rest comes down to consistency. Practice healthy sleep habits that make it easier to drift off and teach your mind how to recognize it is time for sleep. Consider the suggestions above as your work to achieve better rest this year.