February 12, 2020 3 min read

Are you doing everything by the book but still having trouble getting a good quality sleep? Maybe you have healthy eating habits, a punctual night time routine, and exercise daily. Still, nothing seems to fix your sleep troubles. You may not be aware of this, but there are seemingly normal habits that may actually be hurting your sleep quality. Let’s dive into what they might be. 


Eating spicy foods

If you’re into spicy foods, now might be the time to cut the spice. Not so much to eliminate high heat levels, but just to tone down spice consumption before bedtime. According to a Globe and Mail article, strong spiced meals typically take more time to digest. Meaning that if you fall asleep right after a spice heavy meal, your body will be focussing on digesting rather than allowing your brain to enter vital sleep cycles. To avoid these effects on sleep, try waiting at least 2 hours before going to bed, so your body can finish digesting the heat. 


Working after your work day

In this day and age, most of us are enticed to answer emails and calls even when we’re off the clock. It’s difficult, but it’s best to avoid this as much as possible. There are blue lights emitting from our electronics that are meant to keep us alert and awake. If you have urgent work matters to tend to, then it’s best to complete this work long before you head to sleep. 


Exercising at night

Exercising whenever you can is definitely encouraged. However, the National Sleep Organization notes that you should avoid strenuous exercise at night to get a good night’s rest. Intense cardio often boosts your body temperature and is stimulating in nature. These are two things that can hinder your sleep quality. If you want to get some movement in the later hours of the day, try yoga or stretching to replace cardio. 


Sleeping in on the weekends

Even though we all like to enjoy extra shut-eye on the weekends, many studies recommend keeping up with your weekday sleep routine. The American Heart Association states that sleeping in on weekends messes up your circadian cycle. They encourage everyone to try and stick with their typical wake and sleep times, and get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. If you commit to this plan, you’ll notice you feel even more refreshed come Monday morning!  


Sleeping in a high temperature room

You might be inclined to turn the temperature up right before bed because who doesn’t like to be warm and cozy for bedtime. But turning up the heat can have a stimulating effect on our bodies. As we become drowsy, our bodies take a natural temperature dip. Our internal temperature then climbs as we start to wake up. Consequently, if our room temperature is higher, we are more likely to be stimulated. Most studies agree that keeping your room at 65 degrees is an ideal sleep temperature. 

 

Ignoring the snoring

If you snore, you may think it's a harmless quirk, but snoring can be a sign of more serious conditions like sleep apnea. While you may be going to bed and waking up at a decent hour, your snoring could be seriously affecting your sleep quality. If you're a snorer, invest in a stop snoring mouthpiece to save your sleep.

If you find yourself committing one of these habits, and notice that your sleep is a bit off. It might be worth a shot to change up a couple details in your life and see if they resolve your sleep issues!


References

  1. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/conditions/does-eating-spicy-foods-affect-your-sleep/article572713/
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-cope-when-work-interferes-sleep
  3. https://www.sleep.org/articles/exercise-time-of-day/
  4. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/sleep/is-sleeping-in-on-weekends-good-for-your-health
  5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/touch/what-temperature-should-your-bedroom-be



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