By: Monica Beyer
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, yet so many people treat it like a luxury, thinking they're just "not good sleepers" when they wake up tired and miserable.
This doesn't have to be the case! If you've tried the obvious strategies -- like "not drinking a redeye at 8 p.m." and "staying away from the last round of Fireball shots" -- you might be guilty of the following habits that prevent you from getting that beauty rest you so desperately need.
Keeping the thermostat too high
Dr. Aneesa Das, a sleep medicine expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says that if your room is too warm, it can interfere with a good night of sleep: "We sleep better when our bodies cool down. While you don't want to wake up shivering, you should keep the temperature as cool as you can for comfort."
Having a serious relationship talk right before bed
While spending some quality time with a partner in the evening is one thing, couples therapist Melody Li recommends that you avoid bringing up relationship issues that probably won't be solved before you fall asleep. It's also definitely not the best time to discuss sexual problems after a negative sexual experience. Bad sex + bad sleep = horrible mood. Probably for days, really. Not to say that you should ignore problems entirely, but starting a major chat right before bed is guaranteed to make you or your partner feel defensive, inadequate, or stressed out -- none of which contribute to good sleep.
Spending too much time in front of a screen
Banish smartphones, tablets, and even televisions from your bedroom. How will you watch Blue Velvet on your iPhone in bed?! It may seem like a huge drag, but the blue light from screens can invigorate your brain enough that your plans for an amazing night of sleep are pretty much destroyed. Dr. Ninotchka L. Sigua of IU Health Physicians Sleep Medicine, agrees. "Keep these screens out of the bedroom and stop using them at least one hour before bed for the best sleep."
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