The eternal problem: You go to bed on time and try to get a full eight hours, but somehow, you’re still tired in the morning. Chances are you’re getting the right amount of sleep, but the quality is off. That could be the result of one of these six bad sleep habits that we advise you break tout de suite.
1. Finish Up Your Work
Think about it: You’re not especially relaxed at the office, so it makes sense that bringing that feeling home will ensure that you’re nice and wound up before hitting the sheets. If you must fire off a few last emails, don’t send them from under the covers; it’ll make your brain associate your bed with stress and work.
2. Have a Nightcap
While a little alcohol might make it easier to fall asleep, it will also decrease the quality of your snooze by reducing rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after you fall asleep, and the less of it you have, the groggier you’ll be when you wake up.
3. Scroll through Instagram
Studies have shown that the blue and white light emitted from screens prevents your brain from releasing melatonin, a hormone that readies your body for sleep. So while it’s tempting to lull yourself to sleep with pictures of avocado toast and sunsets, wait until tomorrow morning to keep up with the Kardashians.
4. Eat sugar
Dark chocolate has some impressive health benefits, but it also has caffeine, so it’s probably best to stay away from it right before bed. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that foods high in saturated fat and sugar are associated with lighter, less restorative sleep with more interruptions.
5. Or Spicy Foods
Yes, tacos are delicious, but spicy foods often cause acid reflux, which is exacerbated if you lie down too soon after eating. Go to town with the Sriracha at lunch, but try to keep dinner slightly less fiery, OK?
6. Drink Too Much Water
We know how important it is to stay hydrated, but if you chug too much water right before getting into bed, chances are you’ll have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Drink throughout the day instead of trying to cram 24 hours worth of H20 into the hour before bedtime.