Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things a person can do in their life. You can adhere to a strict diet and exercise regimen, and have the most satisfying and fulfilling life imaginable, but if you are not getting the sleep your body requires you can quickly fall ill, decrease your quality of life and leave yourself susceptible to the multitude of health risks associated with poor sleep. It may seem like you are doing everything you can to have a great night’s sleep, but there are several scientifically-proven mistakes that many people make that can severely impact your quality of sleep.

Not Setting the Mood

All animals use light to determine their sleep schedules. It is a natural instinct that dictates when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to awaken. The best thing you can do to set the mood in your room for sleep is to block out as much light as possible. Even dim light has a negative effect on sleep, according to studies. The mistakes people make are:

    • Not using light blocking or blackout curtains
    • Having nightlights present in their room
    • Having electronics that have lights on them placed in the room
The color of your walls can also dictate how well you sleep. Studies have shown that blue and green walls are the most conducive to healthy sleep, while purple walls were the least conducive. The final thing to keep in mind is to consider the purpose of your bedroom; it is for sleeping only. The bedroom is not the place to watch TV, read books, play video games or do any other activity that stimulates the mind. A big mistake people make is having any recreational items in their bedroom as their mere presence can become a distraction that prevents people from falling asleep.

Bad Habits Before Bed

The idea of getting ready for bed is to relax your body, declutter your mind and prepare yourself to quickly fall and stay sleeping. Studies show that reading is the best stress reducing activity before bed because it allows your muscles to relax and takes your mind away from the stresses of the day. Other good activities include listening to music, taking a walk and drinking (non-caffeinated) tea. Bad habits include anything associated with screen time (even with blue light filters on). Avoid watching TV, reading from a screen, browsing the internet, playing video games, etc. These all stimulate, not relax, your mind and body and can disrupt your sleep. Also avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages, talking on the phone and rigorous exercise.

Not Seeking Help for Sleep Disorders

The CDC estimates that 35% of all adults have decreased sleep duration. If you feel like you aren’t getting enough sleep — despite your best efforts to maintain healthy sleep habits — it’s best to get tested to see if you suffer from a sleep disorder. There are two ways to do this:

Treatment is available no matter your condition, so don’t hesitate to get tested today. If you have any questions or concerns about the process, contact our sleep specialists today.