6 Late-night Habits Ruining Your Sleep

You can deck out your bedroom with a quality noisemaker to drown out the cacophony of traffic.

You can use a wearable or tracker to monitor your sleep with astonishing accuracy (we’re talkin’ graphs that outline how long you’re in each stage).

By James De Medeiros, Men's Journal

You can fit your bed with Egyptian cotton sheets that cost more than your first car. And you can make sure you sweat on a regular basis—enough to have you exhausted and ready for bed at a reasonable time.

But sleep can become futile, unobtainable even if you have consistent bad habits late at night. To help you break your zzz-inhibiting patterns, we’ve compiled a list of 6 common ways you’re ruining your sleep. Are you guilty of them?


You're Watching TV

Who doesn’t enjoy a little channel surfing before bed? It’s the top late-night activity, according to Pennsylvanian researchers. And it’s how most of us spend the few hours before bed. Problem is, staring at a TV can result in chronic sleep debt. Researchers found men and women were prone to sleeping in and going into work late in an attempt to compensate for lost time binging the latest hit. Out advice: Record live shows and keep your marathon HBO sessions to the weekend. 

You're Talking on the Phone

Smartphones are basically an extension of our bodies at this point. But there’s no ignoring the unknown and emerging ways they’re hurting our health. One study found the small amounts of radiation coming out of cell phones can seriously throw off sleep. Researchers discovered cell phone users reported more headaches, had more difficulty falling asleep, and took a longer time to reach deep, quality sleep. If your business call with a client on the other side of the world or the chat with your long-distance girlfriend is going into overtime, suddenly “realize” the battery is running out of power. This white lie will give you a chance to recharge yourself.


You're Binge Eating

Keep getting the midnight munchies? Aside from the negative impact it may have on your waistline, Brazilian research also found late-night snacking, and the energy intake associated with it, can lead to poor-quality sleep highlighted by frequent awakenings. Any way you look at it, snacking is a poor bedtime decision. Sugary foods can give you an unnecessary energy jolt, salty foods can make you thirsty, and Australian research indicates spicy foods elevate body temperature, causing disturbed sleep cycles.

You're Surfing the Web

If you’re like 60 percent of Americans, you’re probably using your computer within an hour before bed. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive to your sleep. The artificial light computer screens (smartphones and most other electronics) emit not only make you feel more alert, they also suppress the hormone that promotes sleep, melatonin. The result: You sleep less and feel more tired. Forget about reading your emails, the news, or casually browsing, and get into the habit of shutting down your computer earlier.

You Have a Nightcap (or More)

If you go on a bender with your buddies, you might pass out and think you got a restorative night of sleep. But alcohol prevents you from sleeping soundly through the night, even if you’re not aware of it. Irish researchers recently noted that drinking even low levels of alcohol had a considerable impact on the amount of time spent asleep, particularly during the latter half of the night. Try to avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol before bed.


You're Not Getting Enough Natural Light

Depression, anxiety, and irritability are huge demons to face. But, sometimes, finally getting a good night’s rest and making small changes to your routine can help make things a little better. Stepping out of your fluorescent-lit office and into the natural light of day is a good first step. The more you’re exposed to artificial light, the higher your likelihood of depression, which often translates to less sleep, according to research.

See more at: Men's Journal


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Men's Magazine: 6 Late-night Habits Ruining Your Sleep
6 Late-night Habits Ruining Your Sleep
You can deck out your bedroom with a quality noisemaker to drown out the cacophony of traffic.
Men's Magazine
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