Everyone knows that sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and a natural part of humanity. Still, with the prevalence of electronics and other distractions, many people aren't getting the quality sleep their bodies need. Check out these different ways you're sabotaging your sleep cycle if you feel you aren't getting enough quality sleep each night.
Using electronics right before bed is the most common reason people have trouble falling asleep. One of the biggest myths around sleep patterns is that electronics don't affect sleep. However, they actually mess with your circadian rhythm. That's because electronics emit artificial light that reflects against your eyes. Staring at a screen—whether it's your smartphone, tablet, or TV—inhibits your body's production of melatonin. Put away your electronics half an hour before bedtime to induce natural sleepiness.
Another common symptom of poor sleep is delaying it. This is especially pertinent to young people, but adults are guilty, too. Anyone who thinks they can remain productive on less than seven hours of sleep is mistaken. Adults need roughly seven hours of quality sleep to feel refreshed the next morning. Younger adults and children need approximately nine hours for the same effect.
Getting enough sleep makes you feel refreshed, and proper sleep also regulates hormones and brain health. Feeling exhausted leaves you moody, crabby, and lethargic, which can negatively affect your work, school, or athletic performance.
This one seems obvious, but consuming too much food or caffeine right before bed accounts for one of the different ways you're sabotaging your sleep cycle. Eating food too close to bedtime upsets stomach acids, which can result in acid reflux. Even if you don't experience reflux, you may find yourself tossing and turning more than you're used to due to bloating, discomfort, or stomachaches.
Relatedly, too many stimulants in your system can make you feel jittery and energetic, so avoid consuming caffeine or other stimulants four hours before bedtime—or risk a sleepless night.