To get quality sleep, you need to make sure you’re hitting both REM sleep, which is thought to help consolidate memory, and deep sleep. The people who most often wake up feeling exhausted seem to have had a long enough night’s sleep but in reality they’ve never hit their deep sleep cycle. You may think ‘I really slept, so why am I so exhausted?’ and the answer is because you missed the most crucial parts of your night’s sleep. Improve the quality of your sleep by remedying your sleep wrecker.
What are some of the most common sleep wreckers?
Reading Before Bed
If reading before bed is a regular habit for you, it may seem like a great way to put your mind at ease, but your body has likely adapted to that routine – your brain won’t let you go to sleep until you’ve logged at least couple chapters. Limit your nighttime reading to before bedtime while relaxing on a couch or window seat – anywhere but in bed.
All of us have some sort of nighttime routine to ready ourselves for bed. It might be taking off your makeup, washing your face or brushing your teeth before bedtime. Now, think about where you are doing these routines. Is it in a brightly lit bathroom? If you’re using a bright light your brain thinks it’s morning time and decreases the natural production of melatonin, which normally helps cause the drowsiness you need to get ready for sleep. The body’s natural melatonin production is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness.
Try using a dimmer on your light or use a nearby lamp with low light when you are going through your nighttime routine. You should also keep a nightlight on if you’re someone who goes to the bathroom frequently in the middle of the night.
The Alarm Clock
So many people look at the alarm clock in the middle of the night. You wake – up look at the clock – and find yourself doing the mental math: ‘I only have 3 hours of sleep left.’ These mental math computations keep us awake and often raise our stress levels, and you don’t want those wheels turning in the middle of your night sleep. You can still keep your alarm clock on your nightstand but turn the clock around so it faces away from you. You’ll be less likely to do middle of the night calculations this way! And more likely just to fall back to sleep if you wake up.
Making Up for Lost Sleep on Weekends
By binging on sleep on the weekends I can guarantee that you will be dozing even more throughout the day. Sleeping until noon on Sunday makes it even harder to get to bed at 10 pm Sunday night. It will move your circadian rhythm and make your body want to sleep in on Monday morning. How long can you sleep without wrecking your weekly sleep routine? You should only be waking up 1 hour later on the weekends. Sleeping in later than that extra hour will change your biological clock – giving you Sunday night insomnia!