5 things that affect your sleeping habits
Are you too busy partying all night to get a proper night’s sleep? Do you find it impossible to switch off when your head hits the pillow?
Don’t worry, you are not alone. We get it. Sometimes our sleeping habits get totally out of whack.
Why do we need good sleeping habits?
Having a consistent sleeping habit has heaps of benefits. Enough sleep is necessary for optimal functioning. It is essential for restoring and rejuvenating our bodies. We don’t just switch off when we sleep. In fact, our body and brain remain active through the night.
Sleep helps to:
- Repair our body cells
- Boost our immune system
- Regulate our hormone levels
- Process and store information
- Regulate our emotions
- Protect our heart
With all these benefits, the consequences of inadequate sleep can be pretty serious. From increased drowsiness and poor concentration to depression and heart disease. Getting good sleep is vital for our bodies and minds.
What can you do to make sure you get a restful and restoring snooze time? Let’s take a look at the top 5 things that affect your sleeping habits.
1. Stress and anxiety
Stress and sleep
Stress is pretty common. We all feel it from time to time. Stress can be caused by work, relationships and any other pressures we face in life. When you are plagued with worries, your racing thoughts prevent you from catching those much-needed zzz’s.
Research by the American Psychological Association backs up the link between stress and sleep. They found that 43% of adults struggled to sleep at night as a result of stress. So the more stressed you feel, the less quality sleep you are going to get.
Tired but wired
When you feel anxious, it can be a challenge to get a good night’s sleep. Not sleeping can also increase feelings of anxiety the next day. The connection between anxiety and sleep means you can feel tired but too wired to sleep. Worries and fears can also lead to sleep disturbances. You might also experience nightmares and intense dreams when you do sleep.
The bad news is that when you are stressed or anxious, your risk of insomnia increases. Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder created when you can’t sleep through the night. When you can’t sleep at all, this can create a vicious cycle. A sleepless night causes worry about not sleeping, but this worry prevents you from getting any shut-eye. If you are stuck in a zero sleep cycle, it’s important to get some help. Talk to your health practitioner to get some support and implement some coping strategies.
2. Nicotine and caffeine use
Say no to nicotine
Nicotine isn’t just a stimulant, it is also highly addictive. Smokers are four times more likely to report poor quality sleep than non-smokers. The withdrawal from nicotine during the night can also contribute to a disturbed sleep. So ditching the nicotine habit can work wonders for your snooze time.
Caffeine can’t help
When you think of caffeine, coffee immediately springs to mind. But don’t be deceived, caffeine is present in other products too. Tea, energy drinks, chocolate and some protein bars can also contain caffeine. The stimulating effects of caffeine can last well into the night, so switch your drinks to caffeine free alternatives by the afternoon. Watching your caffeine intake will bring you better quality sleep.
Get your Ripple+ fix instead
Our plant-powered puffs are a great alternative if you need a lil’ something to help you chill. The natural plant blends in each Ripple+ are specially designed to affect your mood and state of mind. Using a Ripple+ puff simulates the act of smoking so can be used as part of your quit journey. The boost you get from the essential oils relaxes you leaving you feeling ready for sleep. Cosy up with your Ripple+ Dream before bed and bring on the snooze.
3. Late night food and drink
It’s tempting to reach for the snacks in the evening. Especially when watching your latest binge-watch. But eating before bed is a big no-no. When you are full up, your stomach is on overdrive. Feeling uncomfortably full prevents you from getting to sleep. Eating four hours before bed is best. If you can’t sleep when hungry, grab a banana. The potassium and magnesium act as muscle relaxants.
Lose the booze
You might think you can’t sleep without alcohol. A glass of wine as part of your evening wind-down feels natural. Alcohol is a sedative after all. However, although it might help you fall asleep initially, you will suffer from disrupted sleep. Regular consumption can even lead to sleep disorders. Your sleeping patterns are affected and you are likely to feel tired the next day.
We are more and more reliant on technology. Although the benefits are life-changing, the downside is that we find it difficult to log out or switch off. Most of us admit to using our phones last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Being so socially connected is great for us in lots of ways but not for our sleeping habits.
TV before bed
Most of us think that watching something before bed is a good way to wind down. But what happens when the show you’re watching ends on a total cliffhanger and you NEED to know what happens next. Just one more episode, right? Before you know it, 2 am appears and you’ve missed out on your valuable shut-eye.
Blue light danger
Our electronic devices emit blue light. Research shows that blue light is bad for our sleeping habits. It confuses our body’s circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm operates on a 24 hour cycle. We feel most awake during the day in bright light. At night, the darkness helps our body feel relaxed and tired. Blue light suppresses our melatonin production. This chemical is needed to help us sleep peacefully.
Pick up the book
Reading is a great alternative that won’t over-stimulate your brain before bed. Similarly, if you struggle to sleep after 30 minutes, try reading to help calm your mind. If you aren’t a fan of books, you could try listening to an audio book or a guided meditation. This can soothe you into a state ready for slumber.
5. Your environment
Get the mattress of your dreams
We spend around a third of our lives in bed So getting a comfortable place to lay your head is top priority. The joy of relaxing on a mattress that is just right for you cannot be underestimated. If you haven’t replaced your mattress in the last 7 years, then channel your inner Goldilocks and test out some options to find one that’s just right.
Set the scene
Close the curtains and dim the lights. Even better, switch them off and light a relaxing aromatherapy candle. You could also try diffusing some essential oils such as lavender. When the atmosphere is right, you will be lulled into slumberland more easily. Keep your room clutter-free and don’t work in the same room you sleep in. This can confuse your brain and prevent you from feeling relaxed.
There are plenty of things that affect your sleeping habits. Luckily some of these have a quick fix. One thing you might not be able to do anything about is the full moon. Some people don’t sleep when it’s a full moon. Whether you turn into a werewolf or are influenced by the moon cycles, once a month you might have trouble nodding off.