5 Common Mistakes To Avoid Before Bed and Easy Ways To Fix Them
What you do in the few hours before bed can significantly affect how well you sleep at night.
If you’ve been struggling with sleep for a while, I bet that you’re making some of these key mistakes as well. Sleep problems can cause you to wake up feeling tired, groggy and unmotivated the next day. So let’s make sure you do what you can before bed to sleep well, wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. Sounds good?
Are you making any of these 5 mistakes?
Mistake #1: Too much artificial light
Since you’re reading this on a blue-light blocking glasses’ website, hopefully, you already know what happens when you’re exposed to blue light before bed.
But just in case you don’t know, the blue light from screens and light bulbs suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormone. To encourage your body to produce melatonin, I recommend a power-down hour before bed which means that you stop using your smartphone, computer, and TV at least 3 hours before bed to minimize blue light.
I know many people are skeptical about this, so that’s when Swannies Blue Light blocking Glasses come in to save the day, or in this case, the night. (I know I’m being a party pooper but I still recommend avoiding screens before bed because they stimulate us and make us wired.)
Since blue light comes from light bulbs too, you still need Night Swannies even if you’re avoiding screens. As James Swanwick, the co-founder of Swannies, says it’s important to wear the glasses until you turn off your bedroom light and get ready to sleep. If you wear them all evening and then take them off in the bathroom when you brush your teeth before bed, you’re getting a blast of blue light at the worst moment right before bed.
Mistake #2: No bedtime routine
Most of us wake up in the morning and hit the ground running. Then we go, go, go all day until it’s time to fall into bed and go to sleep.
Our bodies don’t work that way, as you’ve probably already figured out. Your brain needs time to unwind, decompress and process the day. If you don’t take the time to do that, you’re much more likely to wake up in the middle of the night with your mind racing.
What’s the solution? Having a relaxing routine before bed is going to help you sleep much more peacefully. Ideally, your night routine shouldn’t involve screens, (see mistake #1 above) so I suggest calming activities such as:
- Listening to an audiobook or a podcast
- Taking a warm bath
- Easy stretching
- Talking to your family members (not about anything stressful, of course)
Mistake #3: Doing activities in bed
Your bed should be for sleep (and sex) only! That means no watching TV, working on your laptop or even reading in bed. I suggest removing all of those activities from your bedroom in general. You want your brain to associate your bed and bedroom with sleep and only sleep.
Mistake #4: Staying in bed if you aren’t sleeping
How many of you have laid in bed for a long time wishing and hoping to fall asleep? Or scrolling through your phone, googling why you can’t fall asleep?
It’s time to stop lying there if you’re not sleeping. Back to mistake #3, you want to only be sleeping when you’re in bed.
So if it’s been about 20 or 30 minutes and you haven’t fallen asleep yet, I recommend getting out of bed and out of your bedroom and going to another room. Keep the lights dim and do a relaxing activity without looking at screens until you feel sleepy.
Then go back to bed and see if you can fall back asleep. If another 20 minutes goes by and you’re still awake, get up and do it again. You may have to repeat this process a few times the first few nights until your brain finally gets it – when you’re in bed, you sleep!
Mistake #5: Thinking you can’t sleep
If you’ve been struggling to sleep for a while now, it’s likely you have accepted not sleeping as your fate. I’m here to tell you (and it’s my main purpose in life!) that you can get the sleep you need!
You are meant to sleep and your body and your brain want to get the rest they need to function at their best. So I’m here as your sleep angel to give you hope that it’s possible to figure out why you aren’t sleeping and what to do about it.
Sleep is complex and there are many possibilities as to why you can’t sleep. You have to take into account your routines, sleep hygiene, lifestyle, diet, exercise, stress levels and mindset about sleep.
But even all of those factors may not get to the root cause of why you aren’t sleeping. If your hormones are out of balance, you have an issue with your thyroid (80% of my clients do!) or your gut is unhealthy, which means you have an underlying health issue that is physiologically keeping you from sleeping.
To learn more, watch the free training Why You Can’t Sleep (and what to do about it) on my website.