5 Surprising Things That Could Be Keeping You Up At Night
Everyone knows that drinking coffee before bed or watching a scary movie can keep you from your beauty sleep, but sometimes, the triggers for insomnia are less obvious. Read on for five common but often overlooked habits that could be keeping you up.
Making a habit of tidying up before bed is not only a good general life skill (#adulting), but according to some studies, may help you sleep better. A disorganized, cluttered room can contribute to stress and anxiety, making it more difficult for you to drift off. You don’t have to do a deep clean every day, just make sure walking into your bedroom doesn’t immediately stress you out. Put your clothes in the closet, papers in the drawer, and (this message has been sponsored by your housemate) please stop hoarding mugs.
Your Nightcap Habit
While some people swear that alcohol helps them sleep better, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. When you drink before bed, the byproducts of alcohol metabolism disturb your sleep cycles. That means you can sleep for eight solid hours and wake up feeling groggy. If you must, stick to one drink at most, preferably a few hours before bedtime.
The Temperature of the Room
We’ve written before about the benefits of sleeping naked, and one reason was that sleeping in the buff helps your body regulate its temperature, which is important because your body naturally cools down during sleep. Sleeping in a room that’s too warm, even if it feels cozy initially, can mess with your body’s thermoregulation and keep you tossing and turning. Studies show that the best temperature to set your thermostat to is around 18 degrees Celsius.
Women, particularly women in perimenopause, the years approaching menopause, are especially sensitive to hormone-associated sleep disturbances. Declining levels of estrogen and progesterone can seriously affect your ability to fall asleep. As mundane as this advice sounds, eating well and exercising can make a significant difference. If you think a hormonal issue may be to blame for your insomnia, bring this up with your health professional.
Sleeping Next to your Phone
We know, we know: you’ve heard all about the dangers of "blue" electronic light for the quality of your sleep. In case you need a refresher: LED light basically tricks your body into thinking it’s daytime, which is bad news for getting to sleep. Light problem aside, consider that sleeping next to your phone–a microcosm of every single thing you’re responsible for in your life–may not be the most conducive habit for the level of relaxation you need to fall asleep. Replace your phone with a nice candle–just remember to blow it out.