Do you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night? Do you wake up feeling tired and groggy? If you do, then you’re probably all too aware that sleep affects everything – appetite, mood, energy, how we feel about ourselves, even whether we’re nice and kind or irritable and cranky.
The good news is, many of the bad sleeping habits that may have kept you from getting a good night sleep and feeling more like yourself can be prevented.
So take a look at the following list and see if any of them apply to you…
1. Feeling angry before going to bed.
A fight before bedtime guarantees a restless night with disturbing thoughts and dreams. By the way, don’t ask me how I know this, I just know.
2. A late meal.
Ideally, you want to have your last meal 2-3 hours before bedtime. Going to bed with a full stomach stimulates your nervous system and affects the quality of your sleep.
3. Drinking strong tea or coffee before bed.
I don’t think I need to explain this one.
4. Rigorous exercise.
Light exercise such as stretching and walking is excellent for promoting restful sleep. But intense, rigorous exercise tends to excite your nervous system and keep you up at night.
5. Sleeping on high pillows.
Your pillow shouldn’t be too low or too high. 8-12cm is typically a good height for most people. A pillow being too low may cause puffy eyes and a distending headache the next day; and a pillow being too high disrupts respiration and may cause snoring. Sleeping on high pillow can also cause neck problems over an extended period of time.
6. Covering your face.
Some people like to sleep with their face under the covers. But breathing your own carbon dioxide affects respiration as well as the quality of your sleep. Not healthy. Not a good idea.
7. Breathing through your mouth.
If you have sinus issues you may tend to breath through your mouth. I can totally relate to that. But breathing through your nose is the proper way – because it filters out dust and particulates, and warms the air before it reaches our delicate lungs.
8. Sleeping facing the wind.
At night our immune system is at rest, so it’s easier to be attacked by external pathogens. Since wind is a leading external pathogenic factor according to the Chinese Medicine, it’s better to avoid wind blowing at you when sleeping – whether from air conditioning or from the outside.
9. Sleeping seated.
Sometimes I fall asleep watching a movie because either the movie is too “relaxing” (just kidding) or I get too tired. This definitely affects my sleep when I finally make it to bed.
10. Sleeping in a hot room.
Both external and internal heat can cause insomnia, restless, and a dream-disturbed sleep. Even though each of us perceives heat and cold rather subjectively, the ideal temperature for most people is between 65F and 72F.
So what do you think after reviewing the list of bad sleeping habits? Does any one apply to you? For me, it’s the second habit – a late meal. I’m going to work on that one. How about you?