First a brief note
First, a thank you note to my dear classmates Ali Arda and Mehmet Harmancı for their encouraging remarks about the blog.
Now let’s get back to our sleep “problem”
We lie down at night and long for just one thing: deep, sound sleep. But then it doesn’t happen – we are wide-awake. Minutes pass, we toss and turn, and although we are very tired, we just can’t fall asleep.
Have you ever experienced this? I’ve read some research on the subject and today I’d like to help you sleep better by making you aware of 6 bad habits that could ruin your sleep.
- Exposure to blue light
Do you often lie in bed at night and stare at your smartphone while scrolling through your newsfeed? Or perhaps you lie awake at night reading interesting articles on your iPad? Then you probably already noticed that you have trouble falling asleep afterwards. The reason why: Blue light!
TV, computers, phones and tablets – all electronic devices emit blue light and we are constantly exposed to it. This causes our body to believe it is still daytime, and disrupts our circadian rhythm. Studies show that blue light affects our body like caffeine.
Try to cut down on your smartphone, tablet, or PC in the evening and set a time when you stop using these devices for the night. If you can’t do this, download apps that change the color of your screen to a warm orange-red hue. These apps adapt to the time of day – nothing like a beautiful sunset on your cell phone. In contrast to blue light, this doesn’t prevent our body from releasing the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Too much caffeine
If you want to sleep better, it’s a good idea to avoid caffeine after a certain time; say around 2 pm. This varies, of course, from person to person, but keep in mind what researchers have found out: caffeine stays in your system for 6-8 hours.
- Alcohol before falling asleep
A small glass of wine in the evening can make a nice nightcap. But if you drink too much alcohol in the evening, it can disturb your sleep. How did you sleep the last time you drank at a party in the evening? Deep and sound? Or did you wake up a lot and were restless? Alcohol disrupts REM (rapid eye movement sleep). We spend 25 % of our night’s sleep in this phase, which plays a crucial role in our body’s recovery processes. Therefore, stop drinking alcohol 2-3 hours before going to bed.
- Your bedroom is too warm
It sounds very cozy to sleep in a warm bedroom. Especially if your partner has cold feet. But sleeping in a warm bedroom is not good for your sleep quality. A cool room helps one fall asleep faster. It is recommended that you keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15-20 degrees Celsius).
- A big meal before going to bed
We’ve all probably done this before: we go out to dinner in a restaurant with friends and we simply eat what our heart desires. Right?
But then we go home, lie down in bed – and feel like we have rock in our stomach. When you need quick relief, try drinking a cup of decaffeinated tea or going for a short walk to aid your digestion.
- Intense workout in the evening
Studies show that exercise shortly before bed can interfere with your sleep. I used to do resistance training after work, around 6-7 pm, and noticed that I was having problems with falling asleep. I now work out in the early morning, on an empty stomach. I sleep like baby.
It is recommended that you finish your workout (bodyweight workout or a late evening run) 2-3 hours before going to bed. I still recommend morning workouts.
Well, that’s it my friends; see you next time.