After a long day at work, you are looking forward to a good night rest, but you get home and you are unable to sleep. Why?
Some of the reasons for that are beyond our control — an unexpected visit from a friend or a young child can easily get in the way of a good night’s sleep, regardless of your intentions. But there are also things we do that can sabotage our sleep. And we can fix some of those behaviours.
Here’s how you might be setting yourself up for a terrible night’s sleep — and what to do about it.
- Having a nightcap
That night-time drink might make it a bit easier to fall asleep, but research shows that drinking alcohol right before bed can disrupt sleep later on in the night, making it less restful overall.
The solution, according to some sleep experts, is to keep your drinking to happy hour.
- Night-time screen-time
Watching something on Netflix might seem like the perfect way to end a long day, but research has shown that blue light emitted by electronic screens (like phones, computers, and televisions) can impede the production of melatonin, a hormone the body uses to regulate our internal clocks. Melatonin helps us relax and get ready for bed, so if it’s possible to switch to a book 30 to 60 minutes before you go to bed, that might help.
- Checking your phone before bed (even when blue light is filtered out)
Headlines about the dangers of blue light have led to a wave of new blue-blocking glasses, apps, and screen protectors that help filter out that part of the light spectrum.
But these may not help as much as the companies selling them would have you believe. Blue light is not the only sleep-destroying aspect of your phone. Just having our phones (and the world they connect us to) at hand before bed is enough to mess with our sleep, experts say. If you can keep those devices away from your bed, that might help. Read more