You know that you should minimize the time you spend on your smartphone and avoid drinking coffee in the evening, but did you know that it’s harder to sleep during certain moon cycles, and that your choice of toothpaste can affect the quality of your rest? Here are five little-known factors that could be stealing your good night’s sleep.
A full moon
The word lunatic comes from the latin root luna, and the meaning of the word stems from the belief that moon cycles can cause temporary mental disturbances. To find out whether or not that’s true, you’d have to ask your local werewolf, but there’s good evidence that a full moon makes it harder to sleep. The mechanism behind this effect is still largely unknown.
If you’re a smoker, lighting up before bedtime may be a beloved ritual. Unfortunately, your ability to achieve quality rest may be significantly compromised by smoking. One study showed that smokers are four times more likely than non-smokers to feel tired after a full night of sleep, possibly due to nicotine withdrawal at night.
Whether or not sleeping with your pet is good for you depends on many factors—your health, the health of your pet, whether or not you’re a light sleeper, etc. In most cases, sharing a bed with a quiet, healthy pet can actually be beneficial for your sleep, but consider moving your furry companion off the bed if they tend to be active at night. This is especially a problem for cat owners, since cats are nocturnal.
The jury’s out on this one, so take this with a grain of salt, but some research shows that peppermint can you make you feel more awake. Theoretically, a very strong peppermint toothpaste could interfere with nighttime sleepiness!
Sleeping in on weekends
Many people figure that they can "make up" for not getting enough sleep on weekdays by sleeping in on the weekend. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It’s okay to sleep in a little, but try to keep your wake-up time within 30 minutes of the time you get up on a weekday. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing your natural cycles and feeling like you have constant jet lag (without ever having to get on a plane)!