We all have our own little thing that helps us get off to sleep. You may like to sit up in bed with a good book on your lap blowing into a creamy white hot chocolate, naughtily dunking in your favourite biscuit. Or are you now one of the many people who nightly listen to your favourite podcasts to help you relax, un-wind and drift off to sleep. Although these may help you to fall into a heavenly journey of 8 hours of undisturbed sleep (if you’re lucky that is) you may also find that some things keep you frustratingly awake, tossing and turning throughout the night. Let’s take a look through a range of sleep myths and see if we can bust your sleep problems.
How do you drift off to sleep?
Having that little tipple of wine or whisky will help you get to sleep nicely, right?
Well in fact yes, it will. As soon as your head hits the pillow you will more than likely be drooling before you know it. However, this does not mean that you will enjoying your eight hours, in fact be prepared to have quite a terrible nights rest. It’s all quite interesting actually. As the alcohol will put you straight into a deep sleep; you will miss out on the usual first stage of sleep, called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. When the alcohol starts to wear off during the night, your body will begin to come out of the deep sleep and back into REM sleep, meaning you are much more likely to wake up. It’s typically normal to have six to seven cycles of REM sleep, where as if you have been drinking you’ll typically have only one to two, meaning you can wake feeling exhausted. Furthermore, you are much more likely to need the loo and you will loose more sweat, making you incredibly dehydrated in the morning. Not really a great night’s sleep then at all really!
Do you drink before you go to sleep?
Watching T.V, being on my Laptop or playing a game will help me wind down and become sleepy.
What a lovely feeling, you are watching a delightful TV show, yet battling with your eyes to keep them open. You have a little 3 second super nap then force them open again, this is when you know it’s time for bed. More often than not, you will drift straight off, however what you may have been watching could really hinder the quality of your sleep. If you were watching or playing a game which was very stimulating, you may find that your brain can’t quite switch of, you may possibly have some very vivid dreams and certainly a very unsettled night of sleep
Do you sit on your laptop or tablet?
Exercising before bed will make me nice and tired.
True, you will ache and just want to lie down and relax. But that is it, you just need to relax your body, unfortunately it does not mean that Mr brain is ready to wind down. This is because exercise has an alerting effect, effectively waking you up and of course, it’s going to make you hot and sweaty, meaning you will find it terribly awkward and uncomfortable to just fall to sleep. However, light exercise and stretching before bed could be a good thing as many new studies show that it does not have as much of a effect as what first thougt. So really it just depends on what suits you.
Do you exercise before bed?
If I nap during the day, I won’t be able to sleep at night!
We do all love a good nap on the sofa, or even on a poorly day, getting into bed still fully clothed, nothing feels better right? However, a lovely long nap in the day could potentially ruin your sleep pattern. Not only will you wake up and feel rather groggy, you will effectively need less sleep in the evening meaning your body will wake up earlier or take much longer to fall to sleep. Short sweet naps are often recommended to help you keep bright eyed and bushy tailed yet not ruin your sleep pattern at night.
Partial to a daytime nap?