Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Sleep

Skipping exercise, drinking alcohol and 8 other habits that are wrecking your sleep

Sleepless nights are no fun, but the next day is even worse. If you’ve had issues getting to sleep or staying asleep, the root of the problem may lie in your habits—are you sabotaging your sleep?[slideshow:1362]

We’ve all been there, struggling to get to sleep and worried about how the limited rest will affect us the next day. As it turns out, we’re worried for good reason. Missing out on sleep brings a slew of issues from difficulty focusing to a general lack of energy and even an out-of-control appetite.

Sleep is essential for just about every aspect of our body and mind, so getting enough quality sleep should be a top priority. You might know that you need roughly eight hours a night and you’ve likely heard that the light from your electronics can disturb your sleep cycle, but do you know the other ways you could be wrecking your sleep?

We’ve highlighted 10 common ways you might be sabotaging your sleep. From skipping exercise to drinking alcohol before bed, these are the habits to avoid if you’re looking to get a good night’s sleep.

You’re Not Getting Enough Sun

By now you’ve likely heard that artificial light from your phone and TV at night disturbs your sleep cycle by throwing off circadian rhythms, but you may not know that you need sun exposure during the day for that same reason. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps keep circadian rhythms on track and boosts levels of serotonin, which in turn helps you fall asleep more easily. Missing out on your time in the sun can have negative effects on sleep so be sure to get outside a few times each day—drink your coffee outside and walk around outside on your lunch break.

You’re Not Getting Enough Exercise

A regular exercise routine does wonders for our health—helping with everything from our waistlines to our teeth—and the benefits of exercise extend to our sleep patterns, too. According to data collected by the National Sleep Foundation, more intense exercise directly correlates with better sleep quality. For a more restful night’s sleep, be sure to fit in a few tough workouts each week, but be mindful of when you work out. For many people, workouts too close to bedtime can keep them up, so it might be best to exercise in the morning.

8 other Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Sleep