Is Your Bedtime Routine Unhealthy?

As an adult, you may not find yourself worrying about your bedtime routine. Chances are, the things keeping you up at night — personal obligations, stress at work, or health issues, for example — are weighing more on your mind than the effects of losing sleep.

A lack of good sleep can have a very negative impact on your overall wellness, though. In honor of Better Sleep Month, Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park is sharing how to know if your bedtime routine is unhealthy.

See if Your Bedtime Routine is Healthy

Do You Go to Sleep Around the Same Time Each Night?

Overland Park | Is Your Bedtime Routine Unhealthy?If you find yourself sleeping at irregular or inconsistent times — 10 PM one night, then 1 AM a few nights later — your bedtime routine needs some tweaking. Following a set sleep schedule will help your body grow accustomed to your cycle, meaning you’ll get better sleep at night. Pushing your bedtime back even by an hour can interfere with your natural cycle. It’s best to avoid changing your sleep schedule whenever possible, including during weekends, holidays, and vacations.

What Do You Do in the Last Two Hours Before You Sleep?

Your bedtime routine isn’t just the 20 minutes or so prior to sleep — it’s a longer span, including up to 2 hours before you drift away (or at least attempt to). What you do in those last few hours can have a big impact on how well you sleep. For example, many people watch television or browse on their tablet or laptop before sleep. Because these devices emit bright lights, they actually interrupt our melatonin production, delaying the release of hormones that trigger sleep. Reading is a much better choice for the hours before sleep, as it will actually help improve your memory as you sleep.

What Do You Eat or Drink Before Sleep?

Does your bedtime routine include a snack? Be careful what you eat or drink, as it can affect the quality of your sleep. There are plenty of treats to avoid, including caffeinated drinks, since caffeine can stimulate your system for eight hours; alcohol, which can send a wake-up signal after your blood alcohol levels begin to decrease; snacks packed with sugar, which give you a shot of energy; high-fat, high-fiber, or high-protein foods, which take longer to digest and can cause cramping or gas; and spicy foods, which can lead to disruptive heartburn and bloating.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid all foods before bed, though. Some foods actually promote sleep, making them the ideal snacks for your bedtime routine. Oats and pumpkin seeds are packed with serotonin-producing tryptophan that promotes relaxation; cherries have melatonin that regulate your internal clock; decaffeinated green or chamomile tea contains theanine, a sleep-promoting acid; almonds have magnesium to decrease cortisol production, reducing stress and promoting sleep; and bananas contain potassium to stop muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome, plus promote a deeper sleep.

Is Your Bedtime Routine the Root of Your Sleep Problems?

Hopefully, the information above will help you adjust your bedtime routine as needed to promote better sleep. Sometimes, our sleep issues don’t stem from a poor bedtime routine, however.

If you can’t figure out what’s causing your insomnia or poor sleep, Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park can help identify potential health issues with our clinical testing. We offer a wide range of basic health and wellness panels that could reveal the root of your sleep problems. To learn more about these services, call Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park at (913) 815-0988 or contact us online today!

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