If one night of poor sleep makes you irritable and reduces your ability to do things you usually find easy, imagine what chronic sleep problems do!
Research shows that chronic sleep problems increase the risks of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression and anxiety.
Good sleep is essential to our survival, affecting almost every type of tissue and system in the body. Your brain needs sleep to remove waste, and each sleep stage is linked to brain waves and neuronal activity.
Thankfully, if you can identify how you’re sleeping wrong, you can change your bad habits and improve your sleep quality.
Here are ten ways you’re sleeping wrong:
- Sleeping with more than one pillow under your head
One pillow is optimal for all sleeping positions – the trick is to get sufficient firmness to support your head and align your spine.
If you sleep on your side, get a firm pillow; if you sleep on your back, get a firm or medium pillow. Front sleepers need a soft pillow.
- Sleeping in the foetal position
The foetal position creates extreme curvature in the spine, increasing pressure on the upper, middle, and lower back hips and joints.
It is better to sleep on your side with one arm under your head or both arms by your side – this will keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Sleeping on the wrong mattress firmness for your weight
The heavier you are, the firmer your mattress should be for support; this is the golden rule irrespective of your sleeping position.
Firmness is relative – if you are under 150lbs, a medium mattress feels firm, and if you are under 200lbs, a medium-firm mattress feels firm.
- Sleeping on your tummy
Soft mattresses are bad for tummy sleepers because they don’t maintain a neutral spine position. Ideally, you need a firm mattress.
A firm mattress will align your spine and ensure your internal organs don’t sink too much, helping reduce the potential for stomach pain.
- Not having a sleeping schedule
Circadian rhythm is an educational natural cycle for healthy sleep and routine. Labeled is a biological clock that rules explanation with a day scheme for wellness.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will train your body to feel tired at night, helping you fall asleep faster.
Your body clock is an internal mechanism highly sensitive to changes, so always sticking to your sleep schedule will keep your sleep on point.
- Using your smartphone an hour before bed
Turning your smartphone off an hour before bed is good practice because it stops you from lying in bed watching videos and wasting time.
Smartphones are also linked to sleep problems, anxiety and depression, with excessive use causing stress and racing thoughts.
- Sleeping in a bright room
When you go to bed, you will turn your lights off, but how much light is entering your bedroom from outside?
Blackout blinds and curtains are a worthwhile investment to reduce light levels and help you stay asleep.
- Sleeping too much
On weekends and days off work, the temptation to sleep in is massive, but doing so could knock your body clock out of sorts.
Getting an hour of extra sleep is unlikely to impact your sleep the next day, but excessive sleeping will eventually impact your sleep cycle.
- Sleeping on an old mattress
After ten years, most mattresses are due to be upgraded. Mattresses degrade over time, making them less supportive and comfortable.
If your mattress has squeaks, lumps, bumps, noticeable support problems or experiences roll-together, it’s time to get a new mattress.
- Sleeping with a hot/cold duvet
You can improve bedtime comfort with seasonal duvets, with a summer and winter duvet a better option than an all-season one.
Summer duvets are rated around 4.5-togs, while winter duvets start at around 12-togs. You can vacuum pack them during the off-season to save space.