Not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night? Here are six common sleep saboteurs and simple solutions to snooze more soundly:
- Using electronic devices. The blue light given off by computers, smart phones, tablets and even your TV prevents the production of melatonin, which helps your body become sleepy. Put away all devices and turn off your TV at least one hour before bedtime.
- Smoking. Many people smoke to relax, but nicotine is a stimulant and can keep you awake, especially if you light up close to your bedtime. Talk to your doctor about quitting.
- Drinking too much water. You know that caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep. But drinking too much water or other liquids before bed can also keep you up – going to the bathroom. Stay hydrated during the day, but cut down on drinking water or liquids two hours before bed.
- Sharing your bed with a pet. Your pet’s movements during the night can prevent you from getting the deep sleep you desire. They can also bring fleas, fur, dander and pollen to your bed, triggering sleep-wrecking allergies. Keep your furry friends on the floor or in their own beds.
- Sleeping under sheets with a high-thread count. The higher the thread count of your sheets, the more tightly weaved the threads are. When threads have a tight weave, air flows less freely through them. As a result, heat is trapped and you can wake up sweating. Choose sheets with a thread count of 300 or less. Also, keep your bedroom temperature between 65 and 72 degrees.
- Sleeping In on weekends. It’s nice to be able to get a few extra z’s when you don’t have to get up for work, but those extra hours spent snoozing can disrupt your body clock when it’s time to resume your normal schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – including weekends.