You’re exercising too late.
Whilst exercise is vital for getting a good night’s sleep, a trip to the gym or late-night run any less then three hours before you dive into bed could leave you struggling to get off to sleep. Why? An overstimulated metabolism and raised heart rate will cause restlessness.
You’re drinking too much coffee.
Caffeine has a half-life of three to five hours which means it will stick around in your system for a while (even in small amounts) after you drink it. Try sticking to coffee in the morning and come lunchtime switch to decaf. Remember to check your fizzy drinks for their caffeine content too, and don’t forget, that cup of tea you’re drinking before bed also contains caffeine.
You’re eating your meals too late.
We all love a midnight snack, and most of us will be guilty of a late-night dinner after a busy day at work. But, not leaving enough time between eating and going to sleep can trigger insomnia and night-time heartburn – so you should try to wait at least two to three hours before jumping into bed after you’ve eaten. If you simply can’t resist reaching to the fridge however, go for a light carbohydrate-based snack as protein requires a lot of energy to digest.
You’re drinking too much.
It might make you sleepy in the short term, but alcohol will interrupt your night’s sleep and leave you feeling groggy in the morning. By all means go for that glass of red with your evening meal, but avoid alcohol two to three hours before you’re thinking of heading to bed.
You don’t have a routine.
Bedtime routines aren’t just reserved for children. It’s just as important for adults to have a routine when it comes to going to bed too. Your brain creates a circadian rhythm, which is the times you feel sleepy and awake. Typically in adults, our sleepy times fall between 2am and 4am and 1pm and 3pm. If you go to bed late or get up late, you’ll shift your rhythm and in turn, the times you feel sleepy too. Sadly, that means your weekend lie ins aren’t setting you up for the brightest and best week ahead.
You’re too stimulated before bed.
Whether you’re staying up and scrolling through Instagram, catching up on your favourite tv show, or lounging around with your main light on, blue toned light is responsible for keeping us alert and awake – as it disrupts the melatonin production in our brains (the chemical responsible for sleepiness). Try winding down before you head to bed by switching your phone to night mode which uses red or yellow-toned light, and swapping the main light for side lights or candles.
You’re snoozing too much.
We’ve all been guilty of setting several alarms to get ourselves out of bed in the morning, but you’re actually making things a lot harder by doing so. As soon as you’ve snoozed your alarm and drift back off to sleep again, you’re actually entering a deeper stage of sleep, so, when the time comes to really get up, you’ll feel groggier than you would if you had just woke up then.
It’s just the time of year.
There is actual scientific evidence behind why you find it much harder to drag yourself out of bed during the winter months. Again, our circadian rhythm, created by the brain, relies heavily on light for your sleep pattern. Therefore, winter mornings when we’re heading to work in the almost-dark, is a signal to our bodies to send us back to sleep.