1. Watch Movies or TV
It’s fairly common for people curl up to watch a movie before bed, but if you’re someone who can often struggle to fall asleep, this habit may be the reason why.
According to experts, despite feeling like watching TV in bed is relaxing, you’re actually training your mind to focus on watching TV while in bed, rather than associating your bed with sleep, which will in-turn keep you more awake. In addition, if you fall asleep with the TV on, volume changes and sound variations during the night can disrupt your sleep — even if you don’t remember the TV disturbing your sleep during the night.
2. Stare At Your Screen
If you want to get a good night’s sleep, avoid looking at any type of screen — laptop, phone, etc. — once you’ve gotten into bed.
According to experts, using your phone or computer when in bed stimulates the mind, effectively acting as a signal to keep you awake. Electronic devices such as your phone with backlit displays emit blue light, and this blue light can suppress the release of melatonin — an important sleep hormone that helps regulate our sleep/wake cycle. To replace the habit of scrolling through your phone, try reading a book, which has proven to actually make people feel more tired, until you fall asleep.
3. Listen To Music
Believe it or not, listening to music isn’t the best bedtime habit, however relaxing it may seem to an individual.
Music is the cause of dopamine spikes in the brain, which can also elevate the heart-rate and body temperature, taking you further away from the state needed to get to sleep. If you are someone who tends to need some background noise, professionals recommend trying a white noise machine.
4. Force Yourself To Sleep
If you tend to climb into bed, only to spend hours tossing and turning and trying to fall asleep, you may be doing yourself a huge disservice.
Sleep will come when it’s ready, so forcing it or worrying about it will only makes things worse. “All we can do is set the stage for sleep and give it the best chance possible. The best thing to do? Well, it’s simply to get into bed, relax, and see what happens.
5. Scroll Through Social Media
While it may be super tempting to relax in bed while scrolling through social media, according to professionals, it can actually keep you awake and cause you to unknowingly worry about the next day, or about whatever you may read while scrolling.
You might also stumble upon something that makes you angry, or get caught up in a heated conversation — neither of which would be helpful in getting some z’s.
6. Overthink Your Day
This next one is probably incredibly common. According to professionals, you just simply shouldn’t do any kind of thinking in bed.
That’s right, don’t review your day, think about the tough conversations you’ve had, or obsess over what went wrong. These thoughts have a tendency to increase anxiety in individuals and can in-turn make it more difficult to sleep. Instead, professionals recommend that you try to replace these negative thoughts with something more positive. According to professionals, reassuring yourself with a calming statement like, ‘I already thought about that today, and will have time tomorrow. Now’s time to rest and sleep” can help tremendously.
Basically, your bed should be for sleep and that’s pretty much it. It may not feel like a big deal to check work emails, have deep conversations, or listen to music after getting into bed, but it all may be disrupting your sleep in the long run.