Getting a Handle on Poor Sleep Habits

Poor sleep habits have the power to turn your life topsy-turvy. If you’re consistently unable to get a proper night’s rest, performing your job duties effectively, tending to your most important relationships and completing everyday chores are all likely to become increasingly difficult. So, for the sake of your health and overall functionality, take care to get a handle on any habits that are impacting the quality of your slumber.  

Upgrade Your Mattress 

If your sleep quality is less than ideal, the fault may lie with your mattress, and a mattress that’s too hard or worn down from age should have no place in your bedroom. So, if your current mattress’s best days are clearly behind it, it’s time to do the right thing and start exploring replacement options. 

Because of the high price tags associated with new mattresses, many people are hesitant to replace their current ones, even if they offer virtually nothing in the way of comfort. While frugality is generally something to be lauded, you shouldn’t choose your next mattress solely on the basis of price. After all, replacing a cheap, uncomfortable mattress with another cheap, uncomfortable mattress is unlikely to do you any favors come bedtime. Fortunately, finding a reasonably priced mattress that will provide you with years of consistent comfort is far from an impossible task. 

Once you’ve decided on a suitably comfortable mattress, you should seek out equally comfy bedding and pillows. For example, if you enjoy sitting up in bed to read or watch television, make sure to complement your new mattress with a good wedge pillow

Go to Bed at a Consistent Time 

When we were kids, we were often resentful of our parents for making us go to bed at a certain hour. After all, if we weren’t tired, why should we have to go to sleep? Well, as it turns out, our folks were actually on to something with bedtimes. Although their intentions were completely lost on us as children, they were simply trying to ensure that we got enough sleep.

Given how many adults go to bed at inconsistent times – and therefore get inconsistent amounts of sleep – a fair number of us can benefit from reintroducing bedtimes into our lives. Giving yourself a bedtime that allows for at least seven to eight hours of sleep can be a boon to your mood, energy levels and general functionality. The right bedtime can provide your nightly routine with some much-needed structure and ensure that you’re consistently well-rested.

To help your internal clock acclimate to your new routine, go to bed at the same time on weekends and during vacation periods instead of treating your bedtime as a weekday-exclusive thing. However, once you’ve grown fully accustomed to going to bed at a set time, you should be able to change things up every once in a while without experiencing any long-term effects. 

Stop Taking Your Phone to Bed 

It’s easy to see why so many of us use our phones in bed. With these handheld marvels, we can do everything from composing emails to browsing social media to surfing the web. However, playing around on your phone in the leadup to bedtime is generally a bad idea. All the activities you’re engaging in on the device – not to mention the blue light emitted by its screen – serve to stimulate your mind and keep it actively awake. 

In short, playing with your phone isn’t a great pre-bedtime activity. Instead, you should engage in pastimes that are conducive to a relaxed mind and body, like reading, deep-breathing exercises and meditation. You can keep your phone close at hand in case of an emergency, but to avoid messing up your sleep schedule, take care to shut off the screen at least half an hour before calling it a day.  

If your sleep habits leave a lot to be desired, there’s a good chance your life has been impacted in a number of ways. From reduced concentration to increased irritability to persistent tiredness, unhealthy sleep habits can throw a wrench into your regular routine and turn getting through the day into a grueling test of endurance. Fortunately, correcting poor sleeping habits isn’t nearly as complicated as you may think. With a strong commitment to changing unhealthy behaviors and a steady amount of follow-through, you can get a handle on unhealthy sleep habits in a timely manner.   

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