'Harmless' Nighttime Habits That Are Secretly Ruining Your Sleep

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We know the importance of habits. Many people try to cultivate good ones, like eating healthier, reading more or getting more sleep.

Unfortunately, sometimes we unintentionally set ourselves up for failure ― especially as it relates to sleep. What we don’t always realize is that some of the things we do before bed might actually be making our Zzzs worse.

We reached out to several experts to find out which of our seemingly harmless nighttime habits aren’t conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Here’s what to avoid:
  1. Bedtime Procrastination:

    • Avoid catching up on tasks and obligations right before bedtime, as it can lead to nighttime rumination and impact sleep quality.
  2. Drinking Alcohol Before Bed:

    • While alcohol may initially sedate, it can disrupt deep sleep and REM sleep in the second half of the night, leading to restless sleep. Limit alcohol intake at least three or four hours before bedtime.
  3. Interacting With Technology:

    • Screens emit bright blue light and interactive content, promoting wakefulness. Aim to avoid screens one to two hours before bedtime, and if necessary, use blue light glasses or screen protectors.
  4. Doomscrolling:

    • Constantly scrolling through negative news on social media or watching intense news updates two hours before bedtime can affect mental health and hinder the ability to fall asleep.
  5. Evening Workouts:

    • Vigorous exercise close to bedtime, such as cardio or high-intensity training, may lead to restless sleep. Opt for gentler workouts like yoga or pilates in the evening.
  6. Not Having a Wind-Down Routine:

    • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to prepare the mind and body for sleep. Consistent bedtime, activities like warm baths or reading, and creating a wind-down routine can help regulate the circadian rhythm.

Creating a conducive sleep environment and adopting healthy pre-sleep habits are essential for promoting overall well-being and ensuring quality sleep.

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