Confession-time: I used to be a bit of an insomniac. It’s nothing serious but, from time to time it’s really hard for me to fall asleep at the right time. Lately I’ve made some little changes in my life that makes sleep for at least eight hours.
It all started when I started to work in bars. Your nightcycle get’s shifted. And because I only bartended for a few nights while in college, my rhythm shifted too. Which left me tossing and turning the next night after my bar shift. So tip numbero uno will be: keep a steady sleeping-pattern. It’s a bit like having a jetlag. The only way to get rid of that is by going to bed at a normal time and of course waking up at normal time too!
There are some obvious reasons why you will probably impair your sleep, like drinking coffee or eating food that’s high on sugars. However, there are a lot of reasons that might prevent you from getting a full eight hour-night without you even knowing about it. Like:
Like I said, coffee is a big, big no go if in the evening. Some people claim that caffeine doesn’t affect them, but even if you can manage to get eight hours of sleep in, know that you are sleeping way less deep than you would without that cup ‘a joe.
Also note that you find caffeine in more than just coffee. Dark or cream chocolate and tea contain small amounts of caffeine. It’s adviced to avoid these one to two-and-a-halve hours before going to bed. I know, I’m a sucker for chocolate to, but if it keeps you up at night, it isn’t worth it.
Coffee lover? I’m sorry, I’ve got bad news for you. Prevent to drink coffee after 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Even if it’s just a cafe latte. Milk doesn’t dilute the amounts of coffee. You will still feel the effects of it ’till later that night. Probably still after you wanted to go to bed.
Let’s say you usually go to bed at 11 p.m. and you get up at 7 p.m.. In this case you have got a steady routine, a pattern. You’ll rarely stick to it for a week, especially if you consider the weekends. This shouldn’t be a problem, unless you are very susceptible for little deviations in your habits. Most people can deviate from their pattern by one to hours, but only if it happens once a week.
Even if you got the day off, try to go to bed early and wake up early too. Never allow your pattern to get shifted, because it takes a lot of work to get it back on track. That’s why you usually feel a little bit less fit on a tuesday.
Yeah, you feel winded and worn after a workout, but all the adrenaline will linger on in your body. Which will prevent the production of another hormone called epinephrine, that actually allows you to fall asleep. So working out is good, but it’s better to do it in the morning. It literally wakes you up!
Your mom probably told you not to watch television to late at night, and if you are anything like my, you’ve probably binged the last episodes of The Bodyguard too.. It’s not very good for you if you want to fall asleep early.
Televisions, and your phone for that matter, emit blue light. This can be the big bad that keeps you up at night. It surpresses the melatonin in your body, that helps you fall asleep and makes you feel rested. So looking at a screen isn’t the best way to spend your last hours before going to bed. Read a book instead.
Does your phone lay in your bed? That’s a not good. Phones shouldn’t even be on your nightstand because it’s way to close to your head. A cellular device emits radiowaves, like the Wifi-connection, bluetooth connection and of course the connections to the satellites. These waves you don’t feel, but do affect how deeply you sleep or are able to fall asleep at all.
Then there is another huge problem. Fear of missing out on a post on Instagram or text-app can lead to stress, which leads to insomnia. In short: FOMO harms your sleep. You’ll get very restless by just checking your phone. Like i said, just read a book instead.