May 18, 2024


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7 common sleeping habits that could be negatively affecting your health

From consuming caffeine close to bedtime, to falling asleep with the lights on, some well-known sleeping habits could ruin your chances of a good night’s sleep before you even lie down.

a clock hanging on the wall: From drinking coffee before bed to falling asleep with the lights on, some popular sleeping habits could be having a detrimental impact on your health.

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From drinking coffee before bed to falling asleep with the lights on, some popular sleeping habits could be having a detrimental impact on your health.

Sleep deprivation not only leaves us feeling tired, grumpy and unable to function well the following morning, but it can also have a detrimental impact on our health, too.

Are you struggling to sleep soundly? Take a look at some of the common sleeping habits to be aware of…

Table of Contents

1. Sleeping with the central heating on

It can be tempting to sleep with the central heating on to keep warm, but this could lead to an uncomfortable night of tossing and turning. In fact, research by doctors last year discovered that falling asleep with the heating on can cause our bodies to overheat much more quickly.

The team at home interior specialists, Hillarys, advise that in order to fall asleep quickly, you should sleep ‘in a slightly cooler room’ to ensure the ‘temperature of your brain remains lower than the temperature of the rest of your body’.

2. Sleeping next to your phone

Radiation from mobile phones can delay and reduce sleep, causing us to feel tired and lethargic the following morning. If you use your phone as an alarm, try investing in a digital alarm clock to avoid having your phone next to you.

‘Phones emit blue light which is not only bad for your vision but also your brain,’ add the team at Hillarys. ‘The blue light supresses levels of melatonin in the body, a natural hormone which is responsible for controlling our sleep wake cycle.’

UK Psychotherapist and Hypnotherapist, Nick Davis, previously told us: ‘Your devices produce electromagnetic radiation which, coupled with the adrenal stimulation you get from watching the news, and reading the tweets and Facebook posts from your phones, overstimulates your brain.’

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3. Sleeping with the lights on

Light exposure before or during bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep due to the amount of sleep-inducing melatonin your brain makes. To ensure you fall asleep soundly, make sure your room is dark and quiet (purchasing black-out blinds could be a good idea if your curtains aren’t doing the job).

The team add: ‘As many of us know, sleeping in a light room will always result in a lighter night’s sleep and more frequent waking up. Interestingly, people who sleep for less than six hours per day have been found to be more overweight than people who get around eight to 10 hours.’

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4. Binge-eating before you go to bed

Whether fuelled by habit or boredom, binge-eating fatty foods before bed can lead to acid reflux, indigestion, weight gain and disturbed sleep. If you’re feeling hungry, try grabbing something healthy to ensure your rumbling tummy doesn’t wake you.

5. Exercising late

Working out late can have an adverse effect on your health, disrupting your sleep cycle. ‘Exercising before bed increases your body temperature and stimulates your nervous system which can lead to disrupted sleep,’ explain the team.

‘It is advised if you do workout that you do this a minimum of two hours before you go to bed, to ensure you have enough time for your body to relax and get back to normal levels.’

If you reach the end of a busy day and still haven’t managed to squeeze in any exercise, try considering gentle stretches or relaxing yoga instead.

6. Consuming excessive alcohol before bed

According to a study conducted by the Sleep Foundation, researchers have noted a link between long-term alcohol abuse and chronic sleep problems. Not only can alcohol reduce the amount of REM sleep we get, but it can leave people feeling excessively sleepy the following day, too.

a glass of wine on a table: Red wine being poured into the glass

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Red wine being poured into the glass

7. Drinking coffee before bed

Can’t go without coffee? Try decaf before you climb into bed, as caffeine can leave your body feeling alert. ‘If you are going to drink caffeinated beverages, it is best to consume them in the morning, allowing your body enough time to recover and resume to its normal functioning levels.’

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