10 Common Sleep Mistakes You’ve Been Making (And How To Fix Them)
Have you ever experienced fatigue and tiredness even after getting the required 8 hours of sleep? Well, if you’ve ever spent hours trying to fix your sleeping schedule and are still feeling tired, then you might be making some common sleep mistakes.
These sleep mistakes you might be unknowingly making are probably the ones that are not helping improve your sleep quality.
Getting your six to eight hours of sleep is not the only thing you need to focus on when trying to better your sleep, you must also fix the sleep mistakes you keep making from your bedtime routine.
Below, I’ve listed 10 common sleep mistakes that might be ruining the quality of your sleep. Check them out and how to fix these mistakes to get the best sleep quality tonight and in the future.
10 Common Sleep Mistakes To Avoid
1. Using Your Phone Before Bed
I’m sure that we’re all guilty of doing some last-minute scrolling on our Instagram before going to sleep. However, this sleep mistake might be costing you your well-deserved rest. Blue light from our phone screens, TV, or laptops can make it harder to fall asleep.
If you do like to do something before sleeping, try to pick a book (not an ebook) or listen to a sleep podcast or sleep story right before bed. If you can’t put your phone down, you can switch your setting to night mode that shifts the display colors of your phone screen to warmer colors.
2. Staying In Bed Even If You Can’t Sleep
Did you know that staying in bed even if you can’t sleep is a sleep mistake that many people make unintentionally? You might think that staying in bed will help you sleep, however, doing this can cause your brain to think that bed is not a place where you get your Zzz’s but where you toss and turn.
Instead of staying in bed, you can try to do something that helps tire you out. Read a book, organize your bedroom, fold laundry, or do something mindless. These activities will help your brain calm down and your body to feel tired which can help you sleep. Just make sure you avoid any digital screens during this time.
3. Not Having A Proper Bedtime Routine
Another most common sleep mistake that many of us are guilty of is not having a bedtime routine. Bedtime routine is not just for kids anymore. Adults can benefit from having a proper bedtime ritual. Having a routine can help your brain think that it’s now time to get some shut-eye.
Your bedtime routine can look different from mine so try experimenting with different activities to figure out which suits you best. For starters, you can try these three things:
- Doing something relaxing (a warm bath works best)
- Avoiding digital screens (no TV, no mindless scrolling through Instagram)
- Setting a proper sleep environment (use blackout curtains, set a cool temperature, and minimal noise)
4. Worrying Over Not Getting Enough Sleep
Okay, so how many of you are guilty of worrying about not getting enough sleep? Did you know that overthinking about not getting proper sleep is another sleep mistake that may be costing you your precious Zzzs?
The more you stress about sleep or having a sleep routine, the more your brain and body take to relax. If you’re getting enough sleep, then stop thinking about changing your bedtime routine. Listen to your body and go with the flow.
5. Not Using Sleep-Friendly Environment
Another sleep mistake that we usually make is not having a sleep-friendly environment. To improve your sleep quality, you need to fix three things; get the right night light, invest in the right mattress, and have a noise-free bedroom.
If you’re guilty of making this sleep mistake, then it’s high time that you invest in some good lighting (red light works best according to Michael Grandner, a sleep advisor), getting a mattress that is not only comfortable but also supports your sleep, and controlling the extra noises (try using a white-noise machine or earplugs).
6. Going To Bed Angry
Yes, going to bed angry is another sleep mistake that you need to avoid. Anger is an emotion that activates the fight-or-flight response, which in turn, can increase adrenaline and can make going to sleep difficult. Even if you manage to get some hours of sleep, you’ll wake up feeling tired.
If you’re angry at night, you can try to do things to calm yourself like taking a walk, reading a light-hearted book, listening to a podcast, or doing some meditation. Trust me, going to sleep angry is not worth it. Don’t lose your sleep over anger.
Also Read: Check Out These Sleep Meditation Apps!
7. Not Taking Time To Unwind Before Bed
Another common mistake people make before going to sleep is not taking the time to unwind. To get sleep, your brain needs to shut down, your heart rate needs to slow down, and your body temperature needs to go down. You can’t just do this as you get into bed. It doesn’t work that way.
Before going to bed, you need to unwind and relax. Try listening to some soothing music, taking a warm bath, or doing some nighttime yoga. You can always take a couple of minutes to just sit and relax your body and calm your mind.
8. Taking Long Naps During The Day
A common mistake we unintentionally make when it comes to sleep is that we take long naps during the day to make up for the sleepless nights. Long naps during the day can disrupt your sleep schedule and make it even harder to fall asleep at night.
If you need a nap during the day, try to get a short nap (maximum 30 minutes) before 4 pm. Taking a short nap after lunch and before evening break can help re-energize you. Just make sure you keep your nap between 10-30 minutes.
9. Hitting The Snooze Button
Hitting the snooze button is something that we do almost every day! Well, this is a sleep mistake that you should avoid. It’s more effective (and helpful) to get up after the first alarm. I know that the snooze button may give you extra 10 minutes of shut-eye but in reality, getting the extra sleep is not giving you more energy.
Hitting the snooze button means getting interrupted sleep and according to some studies, snoozing can make you feel more tired. Try to get out of bed after the first alarm. It would be best if you keep your alarm clock away from your bed. This way you’ll need to get up to shut it off. Hey! At least you’ll be out of bed.
10. Consuming Too Much Caffeine During The Day
One of the most common sleep mistakes we keep making is consuming caffeinated beverages mindlessly throughout the day. Caffeine is a drug that can make us feel alert and increase adrenaline. Drinking caffeine in the morning may help you get a kick-start on your day but in truth, caffeine can contribute to your poor sleep quality.
If you’re dependent on caffeine, then it’s best to keep your consumption to one to two cups during the day and before 4 pm. If you’d like to have a beverage at night, try to switch to decaffeinated beverages such as herbal tea, golden mild, etc.
While too much sleep and too little sleep can mess up your sleep schedule, repeating the above mistakes can mess up your sleep quality. I hope with this information, you’ll stop making these most common sleep mistakes and get your Zzz’s in the right way.
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Have you been making these common sleep mistakes? How did you fix them? Let us know in the comments below!
Take care and sleep well!