7 Bad Habits that Are Sabotaging Your Sleep

Getting good, quality sleep is one of the best things we can do to keep our bodies healthy—but sometimes, a good night’s rest feels unattainable. In fact, according to a study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more than one third of Americans don’t think they’re getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

There’s a difference between passing out and actually getting sufficient rest. If you feel like you’ve been struggling to get quality sleep lately, it’s possible that you’re doing things to negatively impact your ability to rest without even knowing it. Here are seven surprising habits that could be sabotaging your sleep. 

Close up of a woman watching a movie at night

How many bad sleep habits can you spot in this photo?

1. Eating Late at Night

Eating before bed can certainly make you feel tired—because the blood from your head rushes to your stomach to aid in the digestion process—but it also affects your metabolism. It also causes your blood sugar to spike and then crash while you’re asleep, resulting in poorer quality rest.

2. Accidentally Ingesting Caffeine

Chances are, you know to avoid stimulants, like coffee or energy drinks, in the afternoon if you’re struggling with sleep. If you’re having trouble getting quality rest, though, you should probably start checking to make sure you’re not accidentally consuming caffeine, even when you don’t mean to.Chocolate, teas, sodas, ice creams, hot cocoa and even some cereals can contain significant amounts of caffeine.

young cell phone addict man awake at night in bed using smartphone for chatting, flirting and sending text message in internet addiction and mobile abuse concept

3. Using Technology in Bed

It might be tempting to bring your laptop or phone into bed with you, but the blue light emitted by your various digital devices is actually making it much tougher for your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that controls the human circadian rhythm.

Check out eight ways you can naturally boost your melatonin here.

4. Having a Nightcap

Sometimes, indulging in a nightcap before bed can result in pleasantly drowsy feelings—but that doesn’t mean you should rely on alcohol to help you sleep at night. Even though a drink before bed might make you feel tired, alcohol actually contributes to poor quality sleep and can even block REM sleep, which is considered one of the most restorative types of sleep you can have.

sleeping woman hitting an alarm clock

5. Hitting Snooze

As tempting as it is to stay in bed after a night of restless sleeping, sometimes it’s better to stick to your typical rise-and-shine routine—even after a long night out. The longer you sleep in, the more you end up disrupting your natural sleep cycle, which could ultimately end up making it more difficult to fall asleep on time.

6. Cranking Up Your Bedroom Temperature

Did you know that your body temperature actually drops as nightfall approaches? It’s true—the reason your body temperature is lower at nighttime than it is in the morning is because we have an easier time falling asleep—and, just as importantly, staying asleep—when we’re cooler, compared to when we’re warm.

If you have the ability to control the temperature in your bedroom, try to keep it between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.

going for a run at dusk

7. Exercising

Yes, it’s true—intense exercise within an hour of bedtime can actually hurt your sleep quality, because your heart rate doesn’t have time to come down enough before you hit the sack. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should skip exercising altogether. It just means you should save the strenuous cardio activity for earlier in the day, and stick to relaxing, slow stretches closer to bedtime.

66 comments

David C
David C10 days ago

thanks

SEND
David C
David C10 days ago

thanks....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

SEND
Richard B
Richard B10 days ago

tyfs

SEND
Cindy M. D
Cindy M. D16 days ago

Any caffeine I ingest is NOT an accident!! :) As long as I have a TV to counteract the Tinnitus I never have a problem sleeping.

SEND
Kathy K
Kathy K17 days ago

Thanks.

SEND
Paulo Reeson
Paulo Reeson17 days ago

ty

SEND
Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine A18 days ago

thanks for sharing

SEND
heather g
heather g19 days ago

it varies

SEND
Renata K
Renata K19 days ago

Thank you for posting,

SEND
Mike R
Mike R20 days ago

Thanks

SEND