A lot can go wrong when you don’t embrace healthy sleep habits. Getting insufficient sleep on a regular basis is liable to make you cranky, absentminded and perpetually tired.
Needless to say, this stands to create a number of problems in both your professional and personal lives. There are a variety of reasons for poor sleep quality, many of which are largely within our control. So, if your quality of slumber is diminishing, there’s a good chance you have yourself to blame. In the interest of improving the quality of your nightly respite, take care to avoid the following mistakes.
Continuing to Sleep on a Worn-Out Mattress
Like everything else, mattresses wear down over time, and the vast majority of them are not made to be used indefinitely. While there’s no hard and fast rule regarding mattress lifespans, it’s generally recommended that you replace your mattress once every six to eight years. Of course, depending on the quality of the mattress and how much use it gets, it may have a shorter or longer lifespan than the aforementioned window of time.
So, if your current mattress is fairly old (by mattress standards, that is) or outright uncomfortable, it’s time to make a change. As is the case with other products, consumers generally get what they pay off when shopping around for the right mattress. For example, if quality is purely secondary to you and price is your foremost concern, you’re unlikely to wind up with a great mattress. While you shouldn’t empty out your finances to pay for a new mattress, you shouldn’t go with the cheapest possible option, either.
Luckily, given the sheer volume of available options, you should have no problem finding a sufficiently comfy mattress for a reasonable price. If you’re in the market for a mattress that will deliver in the comfort department and last quite a while, you can’t go wrong with a good foam mattress.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
It shouldn’t come as much of a shock that many of us consume entirely too much caffeine. Additionally, considering how many different forms caffeine comes in, we’re not always aware when we’re consuming it. Whether it’s soda, coffee or various other snacks and beverages, it’s not unusual for people to spend a good portion of each day filling themselves with caffeine.
Needless to say, this can prove problematic when bedtime rolls around. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it stands to keep you awake during the overnight hours, which can have a lasting impact on your internal clock. In fact, one study showed that consuming caffeine up to six hours before going to bed was able to reduce total sleep time by one hour. Additionally, as we get older, it takes progressively longer for our bodies to process caffeine, so seniors are even more likely to have their sleep schedules disturbed.
With this in mind, make an effort to reduce your daily caffeine consumption. For example, if you drink coffee, tea or other caffeinated beverages purely for the taste, simply switch to decaf. Alternatively, if you need caffeine to wake yourself up in the morning, abstain from consuming it past lunchtime, as this may interfere with your sleep quality.
Although short naps are unlikely to have a considerable impact on your sleep quality, napping frequently and/or for long periods almost certainly will. If you’re regularly fatigued enough to take long naps throughout the day, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting enough sleep at night – which may be due to how much sleep you’re getting during the day.
In the interest of breaking this cycle, try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night, as this should provide you with the energy you need to get through the day. Should fatigue persist, it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with your doctor. There are a number of reasons for persistent fatigue, and they’ll be able to get help you identify the root cause(s) of yours.
Diminished sleep quality is among the last problems you want to find yourself faced with. In addition to exacerbating existing physical and mental health issues, poor sleep quality stands to create a host of new ones. More often than not, poor sleep quality is often tied directly to poor sleep habits – and in many cases, it is well within our power to correct these habits.