Sleep Health: 5 Things That Impact Your Sleep Habits

Several factors could be affecting the way that you sleep at night. You may not be aware of some of these factors, and some of them might even be preventing you from getting the quality sleep that you need to function at your best. Here are things that could be impacting your sleep habits.

The Food You Eat

Certain foods are known to interfere with sleep and should be avoided shortly before bedtime. Spicy foods can give you an upset stomach and cause heartburn and other digestive issues that make resting much more difficult. According to The Alternative Daily, foods that contain a lot of sugar, such as ice cream and cookies, can often cause nightmares when eaten shortly before bedtime. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided because they can interfere with REM sleep and other deep-sleep patterns. If you’re hungry before bedtime, you can try eating turkey, almonds, or jasmine rice to help you rest easier. Drinking a warm glass of milk or some chamomile tea can also encourage your body to relax more.

Room Temperature

You’ll want to make sure that your thermostat is set at an ideal temperature so that you can rest more comfortably. A bedroom that’s too hot can make sleeping much more difficult and cause you to sweat throughout the night. If your bedroom’s temperature is too cold, your muscles may stay tense while you try to sleep because of the natural shivering that your body experiences. A temperature of between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is usually recommended for the best sleep, but the ideal room temperature for you could vary. You might have to experiment with different temperature settings to find what’s right for you so that you can enjoy the best sleep possible. If you still find that you’re getting too hot at night, you can put a mattress topper on your bed that contains cooling gel to try to solve the problem.

Medical Issues

Both obvious and underlying medical issues could be affecting your sleep habits. Sleep apnea is a common cause for sleep disruptions and occurs when breathing gets obstructed, which may cause you to awaken suddenly and gasp for air. If your back stiffens and causes you pain at night, you’ll probably have a much more difficult time resting comfortably. You might be experiencing jaw pain that keeps you up at night because of a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and a TMJ specialist can offer you treatment that’s designed to alleviate the pain and tension in the jaw that is associated with the condition. Consider looking for specialists in your area, for example, if you live in North Carolina you might look for a TMJ specialist in Raleigh, NC

Your sleep patterns might also be disrupted if you take certain medications, such as beta-blockers, diuretics, or anti-arrhythmic medicines.

Light in Your Room

For optimal sleep, you’ll want to make your bedroom as dark as possible. Light that shines into your bedroom can interfere with deep sleeping patterns and reduce the amount of sleep that you get, and putting up a shade or blackout curtains on your bedroom window can prevent any sunlight from shining into your room. As comforting as it might be, sleeping with a nightlight on may be detrimental to your sleep. If you have a modem or any other electronic devices plugged in, they could be emitting light that disrupts your sleep, and unplugging these items or turning them so that they don’t shine light in your direction can make a big difference in how well you sleep.

Electronic Distractions

In addition to emitting light, electronics can negatively impact your sleep in other ways. Watching TV in your room just before bedtime can make your mind overactive, which could lead to difficulties relaxing. Making calls or texting on your mobile phone in your bedroom shortly before bedtime can also keep you up at night. Using a computer just before you go to bed can be problematic as well. Your bedroom should be a place that’s used primarily for sleep, so it’s best to keep these electronic distractions out of your room as much as possible so that you’ll always associate your bedroom with sleeping instead of performing other tasks.

These factors could be standing in your way of getting the quality sleep that you deserve. Addressing these issues that could be interfering with your sleep can help you adopt better sleeping habits that will help both your body and mind recharge more.

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