Here are some of the most common mistakes people make before bedtime:
Drinking or having a nightcap: Alcohol can help you fall asleep but it also affects how you sleep. When you go to bed tipsy or drunk it can cause you to have slower sleep patterns, interrupt your circadian rhythm (which can block your REM sleep), have aggressive breathing, and have your sleep interrupted by the need to go to the bathroom. This will lead you to have an unrestful sleep.
Being negative: Being stressed, thinking about what happened during the day, or planning for the next day makes it hard for you to sleep. Your body cannot relax and your heart rate and blood pressure become elevated. Try meditating, doing yoga, or doing something relaxing before bed to help you go to sleep.
Hitting the snooze button: We all have woken up to the alarm and hit the snooze button and said, “Just 5 more minutes.” Well, it turns out that it’s not the best for us. When you hit that snooze button and go back to sleep you start your sleep cycle again, which means when you do get up you have not finished a sleep cycle making you more tired than if you had gotten up without pressing the snooze button.
Having the temperature too hot: Your body temperature has a cycle and towards bedtime, your body temperature gets cooler, which affects your blood vessels. When the temperature in the room is too hot it prevents your body temperature from lowering which means your blood vessels are enlarged and you lose more heat. So when heading to bed put the temperature somewhere in the 60s.
Using technology: When we use a device that produces light it tricks our body into thinking that the light is coming from the sun. When the body thinks it’s sunny it signals us to stay awake, stopping the production of melatonin, which is what helps us go to sleep. So instead of scrolling through social media, watching a video, or playing a game, try reading a book before going to bed.
Having Caffeine: Caffeinated items such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate are great for when you wake up because the caffeine blocks the sleep-inducing chemicals in your brain. Once the caffeine takes effect, it takes about 6 hours for half of the caffeine to leave your body. This means it would be best not to have that cup of coffee in the afternoon because it will keep you up at bedtime.