5 ways you could be sabotaging your sleepPosted: August 5, 2014
Sleep is a control freak.
Don’t give it enough attention, and it will show you who’s boss. From mood, to memory, to longevity, sleep dictates nearly all aspects of our health. So whether we like it or not, it begs us to befriend it, especially when taking efforts to lose weight.
Luckily, sleep can help make you feel your absolute best, so let it be one control freak you make an effort to keep happy. In doing this, you’ll need to remove its enemies from your life. Below, find 5 sneaky things that may be trying to sabotage your relationship with sleep, and get ready to bid them adieu. Then, say a happy goodbye to that flock of sheep you’ve been counting, or the twisted sheets you’ve been tossing and turning, and rest easy tonight.
Decaf coffee: Caffeine before bed is an obvious no-no. Not so obvious, decaf products often contain up to 10 mg of caffeine—enough to keep you tossing & turning. Calm down with chamomile instead, an herbal tea proven to help relaxation.
The late night sweat sesh: High-impact exercise within 2 hours before bed could leave you with an energy rush & effect your natural rhythms. If time allows for nothing else, take a cool bath before bed to lower your body temp. (Note: Light stretching can actually induce an easier sleep. See if you can schedule 10 minutes of yoga or gentle stretch-time each night before stepping into bed.)
Nightcaps: Alcohol may help you fall asleep quicker, but it disrupts the quality of your sleep. Wind down with some low tempo music and a glass of tart cherry juice on the rocks, instead. Cherries contain melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Studies indicate the juice could help reduce insomnia and lengthen shut-eye.
Your puffy pillow: Put that pillow on a diet! Fluffy pillows angle the head forward, kinking the neck. When sleeping, your spine should be neutral with your neck long, similar to your alignment when standing up straight. Check out Health.com’s roundup of their top pillows for every type of sleeper.
Toasty temps: While the thought of the tropics can sound relaxing, don’t let the inside of your house feel like Caribbean temps if you want to sleep well. A falling core body temp. helps us drift off faster. Ideally, keep your room around 60 to 68 degrees when nearing bedtime.