Sleep is one of the most important aspects of your daily routine that will either make or break you. Great sleep leaves you invincible, ready to take on the day’s challenges like a Zen warrior. Poor sleep, on the other hand, can leave you sick, moody, distracted, and even dangerous.
Sadly, great quality sleep is not always easy to come by. Our daily habits, mood, and even diet can lead to disturbed sleep and tired mornings. Here we’ll take a closer look at our lifestyle and discover where we’re sabotaging our precious sleep.
Sleeping Hard Or Hardly Sleeping?
Sleeping less than 7 hours per night, feeling exhausted, and snoozing the alarm a few times (or more…) each morning has become the new norm. Our society is a high-achieving, go-getting machine that prizes doing over resting. The result? Most of us are severely sleep-deprived and suffering the consequences without even realizing it. Are you one of them? Let’s check-in and see how healthy your sleep habits are:
Do you have a normal bedtime and wake time that you stick to?
Do you fall asleep within twenty minutes of going to bed?
Do you sleep soundly through the night?
Do you wake up naturally in the morning or get up at your first alarm?
Do you feel refreshed and energized upon waking?
If you answered “no” to two or more of these questions, you might be sabotaging your sleep. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! It is estimated that only 21% of Americans get the necessary sleep they need each night.
Prioritizing sleep is not lazy. In fact, a commitment to quality sleep will improve your health, mood, and productivity tenfold. Let’s find out the ways you might be sabotaging your sleep – and how to fix it.
5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Sleep
There are so many different reasons for why we sleep hot, but thankfully there are even more ways to keep it cool and breezy. Consider trying out some of these recommendations for a much more soothing slumber:
1. Your bedroom is not a sanctuary.
If you’re like many people, over the years your once peaceful and pristine bedroom has morphed into something else entirely. There’s a bed, of course, but it’s also your office, your library, a lounge room, one big walk-in closet and laundry room, and (perhaps most troubling) a storage container.
Your bedroom should feel like a sanctuary and should be reserved for sleeping and intimacy alone! Remove books (except maybe one for the nightstand), work papers, briefcases, dirty laundry, to-do lists, children’s toys, food or dishes, and anything else that does not pertain to sleeping. Remove excess sources of light like bright clocks and block out exterior light from windows.
If you’re really committed, give your bedroom a fresh coat of paint (blue, grey, or lilac are great for bedrooms), use aromatherapy (lavender is perfect for sleeping), invest in better pillows, and finish it off with a cozy Bearaby weighted blanket, the Napper. Ahh, that’s better!
2. You use electronics before bed.
You’re likely aware that using electronics and screens before bed is a no-no as the light, noise, and action stimulates our brains and throws off our circadian rhythm. It can be hard to put away the laptop, phone, and TV at night, but this one simple step can be a game changer.
Trading in your digital habits for a more analog evening has more benefits than just soothing our mind and preparing us for sleep. With a more mindful hour before bed, we have the time for some important self-care and productivity.
Use this time to calmly tidy and listen to relaxing music, prep your outfits for the week, journal, read, stretch, meditate, or check in with your partner. When you put away the screens, it’s amazing how much time we really have to do the things that matter most.
3. You have a beast in your bed.
Pet lovers, it’s time to take back control. You may love to cuddle with Cooper but having a four-legged friend in bed might be robbing you of the quality sleep you need.
People who let their pets sleep in their beds suffer from lower sleep quality and are at risk for increased allergies or aches and pains. Give your pets a bed of their own and devote another time to snuggling.
4. You snooze, and you lose.
Snoozing the alarm in the morning is one of the worst ways to start your day. While you may think you’re benefiting from “just another ten minutes,” this practice actually wrecks your sleep cycle and creates a vicious cycle of fatigue.
Sleeping in on the weekends can also be a bad habit. Keeping a regular sleep schedule – even on the weekends – is the most important way to avoid “sleep hangovers” and stay on track. When you’re on a good schedule, you won’t feel the need to sleep in.
5. You eat too much, too late.
It’s not just the midnight snacks that are sabotaging your sleep. Eating late dinners or overly heavy meals at night can cause sleep disruptions and prevent your body from fully resting and restoring at night. Foods high in fat, dairy, and spices can lead to digestion problems, heartburn, and even disturbing dreams.
Aim to eat your last meal or snack at least 2-3 hours before you head off to bed. Keep dinner light and focus on healthy vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. This will ensure you’re not going to bed on a full stomach and give your body the best chance at a good night’s sleep.
Stop The Sabotage Cycle
At Bearaby, we know how precious sleep is, and how important it is to our health and happiness. Only one-fifth of Americans sleeping soundly each night is not good enough for us! We’re on a mission to revolutionize sleep and stop the sabotage cycle.
Picture what a better place the world might be if we were prioritizing healthy, quality sleep. We would be more productive, but less tired. We would sleep more, but have more time. We might be friendlier, kinder, more patient, more innovative, and more creative.
That’s all a possibility with better sleep habits and a few healthy hacks. Start small by cleaning up your bedroom space and welcoming a weighted blanket into bed!
Are You Sabotaging Your Sleep?
Here we’ll take a closer look at our lifestyle and discover where we’re sabotaging our precious sleep.
Simple, mindless habits like that afternoon coffee, nighttime scrolling, and snoozing the alarm might be sabotaging your sleep – and mental health.
Start simple. Pick one or two habits to break at a time to prevent overwhelm.
Invest in superb sleep with a Bearaby weighted blanket. Make slipping under a heavy hug your favorite new nighttime ritual.
Did you know?
Many Japanese companies are embracing naptime. They believe a small nap on the job makes employees more productive.