If your sleep has been stolen, you don’t need to call 911 – you just need better sleep advice…
How would you feel if something precious, irreplaceable and cherished was stolen right from under you – terrible, right? Think about when you lose a treasured night’s sleep – or when it’s stolen. You wake up grumpy, sad and have trouble getting through your day. On the flipside, when you can’t fall asleep you become frustrated and stressed. But what do you to change the pattern, to make sure you’re not robbed again?
Sleep thieves prowl around us constantly. Sadly, most of us let them get away with it, night after night after night. Similar to protecting your car and home with security, your sleep also needs security protection.
8 simple things that might be stealing your sleep
1. Your snoring partner. A loud-sleeping, blanket-stealing partner will undeniably disrupt sleep, but you or your bedmate may also be guilty of subtler offenses. Teeth grinding, frequent bathroom trips or even excess body heat can also be shrewd sleep thieves. Help yourself and your partner with these 3 tips:
- Fix the snoring problem
- Think about upsizing your mattress
- Consider sleeping in a separate bed from your partner
2. Your furry, cuddly friend. Got a dog or cat who enjoys licking your face throughout the night? A 2014 sleep study found that people who slept with their pets took longer to fall asleep, were more likely to wake up tired and often complained of being woken up by a dog barking or animal making noises. If you sleep with your pets, try a few nights without them and see how you feel in the morning.
- Learn more about how pets affect your sleep
- George Vanderbilt may not have slept with his dogs but it’s clear he thought they improved his life – and maybe his sleep too.
- If you do sleep with your pet, learn how to deep clean your bedroom
3. Financial worries. Are you waking in the middle of the night, stressing over bills? Money is one of the top issues that couples argue about and lose sleep over. No one enjoys money worries but tackling those issues earlier in the day might help you sleep better at night.
- Try these 8 tips to soothe your anxious mind
- If you’re chasing a good night’s sleep, learn how to reduce stress to sleep better
- Take back the night by taking stress out of the equation when it’s time for sleep
4. Caffeine. Drinking coffee might be your preferred way to finish your evening meal or deliver a much-needed perk in the afternoon. But coffee later in the day may also be sabotaging your sleep. Consuming caffeine 3 and even 6 hours before bed can reduce total sleep time by more than 1 hour each night. Try cutting off your caffeine intake at 3:00 pm and avoid energy drinks in the evenings.
- How does caffeine affect your overall health?
- Coffee, caffeine and sleep – can coffee make you tired?
- Learn about the many places caffeine is hiding in your diet
5. Work. Ever feel that work never ends? During stressful times (a global pandemic qualifies!) our sleep health can erode dramatically and without warning. Some of us may find ourselves going to bed later or waking earlier while others’ minds spin out of control for hours in the middle of the night. If you’re feeling stress during these uncertain times (who isn’t?) and struggling to get a good night’s sleep, check out these posts:
- Should you nap at work?
- Sleep tips that add up to career success
- The difference between weekend and weekday sleep
6. Alcohol. We’ve all experienced how alcohol can convince you’re the greatest dancer of all time. But it does the same trick with sleep. You might fall asleep faster after a few drinks but alcohol disrupts your body’s normal sleep patterns – and can leave you feeling dehydrated in the morning. Mixing any amount of alcohol with sleep can cause problems, say the experts. Might be time to rethink your nightly nightcap…
7. Junk food. If you’re a late-night snacker, you may have a higher body mass index and eat 12% more calories than daytime snackers. Instead of reaching for a bedtime snack high in saturated fat (like greasy potato chips and ice cream), try a hot, steamy bowl of oatmeal, nuts or milk before hitting the hay. Or try out these bedtime snacks:
8. Electronics in bed. Your brain needs time to relax and adjust for sleep. The blue light blazing from our phones, tablets and TV’s wreck our sleep – even before we fall asleep. If you’re a guilty user, learn how electronics kill your sleep.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Does temperature affect how well you sleep?
- Where to put your bed for the best night’s sleep
- The essential guide to creating a bed(room) you’ll love sleeping in