There are many important reasons to get enough sleep every night; not only does sleep help keep you slim, but it also helps reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. If you can't get enough healthy shut-eye every night, one of these habits could be the culprit.
- You go to bed with your electronics: Catching up on Facebook or scrolling through Pinterest on your iPad will trick your brain into thinking it's still day, which can disrupt your body's circadian rhythm. Help yourself wind down by shutting off your electronics at least 20 minutes before bed.
- You haven't upgraded: An old, lumpy mattress or dust-mite-filled pillow can turn your nights into restless hours up with a sore back or a stuffy nose. Replace your pillows every year (here are some tips on picking the right one) and replace old, worn mattresses when they've reached the end of their life cycle.
- You ate too late: Making a habit of late-night eating can cause digestion issues that keep you up at night. Opt for an earlier, lighter dinner if possible if you notice heartburn or other digestive distress at bedtime.
- You choose the wrong drink: That afternoon pick-me-up or evening nightcap may now be the reason why you can't drift off to sleep. Keep track of your insomnia trigger, whether it's caffeine, alcohol, or sugary drinks, and limit those as much as possible for a good night's sleep.
- You don't turn off: Constantly worrying, thinking about your to-do list, or cataloging the chores you need to do can keep you from drifting off to sleep. Keep a journal by your bed so you can jot down ideas and to-dos, and shut your mind off.
- You're a fan of naps: A midday or postwork nap on the couch can make it hard to get to sleep when it's primetime. If you think your naps are disrupting your sleep, try and save your Z's and get back on schedule.
- Your bedroom isn't a sanctuary: Loud street noises, computers on and humming, pets taking over your bed — all these distractions can make you drift in and out of a deep sleep so you feel groggy in the morning. Keep your TV, work, and other distractions out of your bedroom, and try to maintain an uncluttered, cool temperature bedroom with these bedroom makeover tips.
- You have too much energy: Exercise helps burn up energy you have during the day so that you go to sleep fast once you hit the hay. Maintain a regular workout schedule during the week so you're ready for sleep once night falls.
- You don't wind down: A good book, a mug of herbal tea, and a de-stressing yoga routine — having a bedtime relaxing routine will help you prep for bed and relieve stress and anxiety.