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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could simply jump into bed at night and get to sleep instantly? Unfortunately though, for a lot of us, getting to sleep at night can be a daily battle no matter how tired we are when our head hits the pillow. But what keeps us from getting our desired sleep? Well you might be surprised to hear that our night time routine can seriously affect how soon or how well you sleep at night. In fact, something as simple as checking Facebook or eating cereal for your supper could result in a restless night.

If you do have trouble getting to sleep at night it’s important that you take a look at your nightly routine as this may be the root of your sleeping problem. Indeed, these are some of the most common night time activities that could be disturbing your sleep:

Technology

We might be in a day-and-age where technology is an integral part of our lives, but it’s important to create a boundary between your bed and your technology if you want a good night’s sleep. That’s because the bright screens in our tablets or smartphones trick your brain into thinking it’s daylight and that you should be awake. This means that when you finally do put down the technology to go to sleep, your brain is confused and your melatonin production has been disturbed.

Time-for-Bed-333The other problem with technology is that is it stimulates the mind. Television and social media sites can get our emotions running making it harder to get to sleep afterwards. Just think, how hard do you find it getting to sleep after a Monday night viewing of Game of Thrones? Instead try and avoid technology for 2 hours before bed by reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

Work

Just like technology, bringing your work home with you is a really bad idea – especially if you like your sleep. Work is notorious for causing us stress and anxiety. Reading emails in bed is highly likely to put work on the forefront of your mind, meaning that when you do try to get to sleep you’ll be too focused on tomorrow’s meetings or workload to relax enough to get to sleep.

Diet

You might not think it, but what you choose to eat at night will determine how well you sleep during the night. Food that is particularly fatty will cause your body problems when it comes to digestion. In turn this will cause you a disturbed sleep and may result in heartburn.

Particularly sugary foods or caffeinated drinks are too stimulating to be eaten before bed – you’ll only find yourself tossing and turning.

Alcohol should also be avoided as its dehydrating qualities will lead to a disturbed sleep and an unwanted headache in the morning.

Smoking

We all know smoking is a bad habit – the adverse health effects are well-documented – however one side-effect of smoking that isn’t often talked about is the fact that smoking can really disturb your sleep at night. This is because the addictive nicotine present in cigarettes is a stimulant, just like the caffeine in coffee. So, if you enjoy a pre-bedtime smoke, you might just find yourself lying awake for longer than you should be. 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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