A bad night of sleep will leave us all feeling miserable. Not only that, but research shows that if we don’t get enough sleep then it can negatively affect our mental health, result in poor concentration and work performance and in the long term can increase the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s. There are so many experts and books that share tips and tricks on how to get a good night’s sleep, how to set up your sleep environment to achieve a restful slumber and various techniques on relaxation and meditation to help cure your insomnia. While it’s always interesting to explore different techniques if you’re struggling with sleep, there is such a thing as bad sleep advice and tips that you should never follow, because you may achieve the opposite. Although most advice is always shared with good intentions, there is some information that we’ve found that just has us shaking our heads. Here is a collection of bad sleep advice that we’ve found – nuggets of information that you definitely should not follow if you’re trying to get a better night of sleep.
This may initially sound like a good idea and there is some logic behind it, because exercise will leave you feeling tired and in theory you should be able to fall asleep easier. Being active is great and very good for your wellbeing, but it’s not the best thing to do right before bed. By the time you get to bed you should be past the post-exercise rush and ready for some well-deserved rest. If you exercise right before bed, you’re more likely to wind yourself up, so it’s best to time your workout earlier in the evening so you have some time to relax before you hit the hay.
Indulging in an alcoholic beverage right before bed sounds like a nice way to unwind after a long day, and it’s a relaxing way to relieve some tension. However, it’s not going to make you feel extra sleepy, and even if you do fall asleep faster you won’t be able to enjoy a restful night of sleep. Alcohol can make you a light sleeper and increases the chances of sleep interruptions throughout the night. Not to mention that alcohol is very dehydrating, and you’ll likely wake up numerous times throughout the night for a sip of water or to use the restroom, and you’ll ultimately wake up feeling exhausted in the morning.
Some people will tell you to get to bed earlier so you can sleep better, but if that doesn’t work for you, then skip it! You’re better off sticking to a consistent nightly routine and bedtime, that way your body will know what to expect every night and when it’s time for bed you’ll start winding down so you can easily fall asleep when your head hits the pillow. It’s more important to follow your needs – if you feel very tired then go to bed early, if you’re wired then stay awake an extra hour. The key is to not force something that isn’t working for you.
It’s easy to snooze while watching a movie or a favorite TV show, but this will actually disrupt your sleep patterns. Even after you turn the TV off, the light from the screen can continue to fire off and your room won’t be as dark as you need it to be. The best way to avoid this is to leave the TV in a separate room and keep the bedroom for sleep only.
Experts will tell you that in order to obtain optimum sleep your body temperature needs to be lower, because if you’re too warm then you won’t be able to rest well. A cold shower can be very unpleasant, unless you’re in the middle of a crazy summer heatwave. Not only that, but a cold shower will shock your system into being even more alert so you’re more likely to lie in bed awake. The better option is to enjoy a soothing warm bath with essential oils to help you unwind and relax before bedtime.
A comfortable mattress, high quality bed and healthy sleep habits will go a long way when it comes to enjoying a restful night of sleep every night. Practice being mindful, enjoy a relaxing bedtime ritual and listen to your body so you can feel rested and ready to take on the day.