Sleep Sabotage: Are You Guilty Without Even Knowing Why?
20 Mar 2018
Life can be stressful, we’re all incredibly busy and the resultant anxiety can certainly affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, however, our inability to switch off is due to poor sleep hygiene.
Sleep sabotage, are you responsible?
Nope, we’re not talking about forgetting to take off your makeup before you hit the sheets (although you really shouldn’t). ‘Sleep hygiene’ is merely a number of habits that can help improve your quality of rest. If yours is poor, then your behaviour or routines could be keeping you up, so we’ve put together a few pointers to help improve your pillow time.
Say no to a nap
It’s been proven that a short nap can help improve your alertness when you wake up but it’s not a substitute for a good night’s sleep. Avoid napping for too long or too late in the afternoon or you may struggle to go to sleep at bedtime.
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise, as little as ten minutes a day, can improve your sleep quality. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime as this can have the opposite effect.
Watch what you drink
Many can drink a cup of coffee close to bedtime and not feel the effects but if you’re caffeine sensitive it’s a no-no. When it comes to alcohol, it might help you fall asleep initially. However, in the long run, it can keep you up later in the night when your body starts to process it.
Adjust your bedroom habits
Make your bedroom a place to sleep
As tempting as it is to catch up on your emails via your laptop in bed, don’t do it. Your brain needs to realise that being in bed means it’s time to dream, not work.
Say goodnight to screens
When the lights go down your body knows it’s time to switch off. But if you’re glued to a TV or cellphone screen it’s glare can keep you up, literally. It emits a particular blue light that’s capable of triggering your brain to slow down its production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Still no shut-eye?
If you’re able to tick all the boxes in terms of doing what’s best to help ensure good quality sleep but still struggling then consider making an appointment with one our integrative health doctors at Health Renewal. They’ll take your full medical history, perform a physical exam and may order some blood tests as your inability to sleep could be due to a physical health issue or hormone balance.
Once the root cause is found for your sleeplessness, they’ll discuss all the treatment options, of which there are many, to help treat the cause of your insomnia, not the symptom.
Here’s to good health and sweet dreams!