Mon, 08 August 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Bad Habits That Can Ruin Sleep and Cause Insomnia

Update : 27 Jun 2022, 16:10

Some people snuggle into bed and are out cold in a few minutes—or even a few seconds. A full night's sleep is essential to our health and well-being. Sleep is meant to be a period of rest and rejuvenation so that we can be prepared for whatever’s coming the next day.

So, let’s have a look at some of the most impactful habits that destroy our sleep and just before bed habits to avoid.

Bedtime procrastination
All of us have busy lives, and typically we don’t get to finish our to-do lists in the course of the daytime. In an effort to make up for this, we’ll attempt to play catch up at evening.

This has elevated in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and might result in poor general sleep high quality, in accordance with Dr. Ashwini Nadkarni, an affiliate psychiatrist and an teacher at Harvard Medical College.

“So many individuals will spend the previous few minutes of the day‘ catching up, ’not solely on work duties but in addition on family wants,” Nadkarni tells HuffPost.

“As an example, the final half-hour earlier than bedtime, individuals could write down lists of duties they should get accomplished round the home, obligations they should fulfill on behalf of their youngsters, or reply to work emails that they may have missed,” she continues.

“This may really feel like a model of winding down when really, it may instigate nighttime rumination and an arousal degree about further planning for the subsequent day, in flip, impacting sleep onset latency and worsening general sleep high quality.”


Doomscrolling is the trendy new way to shame us all for sleeping less, and while it feels impossible to have another thing added to the balancing act, there are steps you can take to reduce your time spent reading upsetting news. 

Social media was already a problem at bedtime. Throw in a global pandemic, political revolution, natural disasters of epic proportions, oh and a very important election, and it’s hard to put the phone down. 

Pre-Sleep Wind Down

An important and relatively simple improvement that can be made to your sleep routine is to introduce a wind-down period before you turn out your light to go to sleep. This creates a buffer zone between daytime and night-time and helps the mind and body transition prepare for sleep. A wind down period may be between 30-60 minutes, and may need to be longer if your day has been physically, mentally, or emotionally demanding, or if you are feeling anxious or stressed.

The pre-sleep wind down is so important that we recommend to still have a wind down period even if you are retiring to bed later than usual – for example if you have been working late or engaged in some other highly engaging activity during the evening.  Staying up and extra 30 minutes to wind down may mean that it takes you less time to fall asleep.

Using Your Bedroom as a Multipurpose Room
Filling your bedroom with televisions, gaming systems, computers, telephones, and other gadgets will ensure a plethora of stimulation will be at hand. Unfortunately, none of these will help you to sleep better. The light off screens may be harmful to sleep. Using them just prior to bed will prompt your brain to be active, and this is the last thing you need to fall asleep. Charge your phone in the kitchen and clear out technology from your sleep sanctuary.

Exercise Daily, But Not Too Close to Bedtime
You know that working out is good for your overall health, but it can also improve your sleep quality, particularly if you work out in the morning, or at least earlier in the day. Evening workouts are definitely OK too, but should occur two to four hours before bedtime to give your body time to cool down before you go to sleep. 

Drinking Alcohol or Coffee before Sleeping
Many of the most popular alcoholic drinks, such as wine and beer contain a good amount of sedative materials. However, even those with the lowest alcohol content can interfere with sleep. The same goes for caffeine-containing drinks, like coffee and tea and it can cause a delay in your sleep cycle.

Eating a Large Meal Before Bed

Many people reach for certain foods as a late-night snack, like a slice of pizza or cookies, instead of healthy alternatives. Not to mention that a popular nighttime snacking activity is sitting in front of the TV. If you’re reaching into a bag of chips repeatedly while binge-watching your favorite show, you’re more likely to overeat. This can tip your daily calorie consumption, too, not to mention have a negative impact on your health.

Spending too much time trying to count sheep
You wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. This pattern of thought can be toxic, though, at least for your sleep pattern. The more time you spend tossing and turning in bed, becoming increasingly more desperate, the more likely you are to stay awake. This is because you may end up triggering a stress response that stimulates the release of hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin – not at all conducive to a good night’s sleep!

If you’ve been tossing and turning in bed for more than 20 minutes it might be time to get up. If you stay where you are you might start to associate your bed with negative emotions, which won’t exactly help when you try to nod off the next night. Instead, get up and move into another room for a few minutes.

Now this move isn’t an excuse to have a late night Netflix binge or a social media scrawl – instead try to calm yourself down by practicing relaxation techniques such deep breathing or mindfulness.



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