Poor sleep habits can have a direct impact on the quality of sleep and how we feel the following morning. These, in turn, impact our performance levels the next day.
Compensating for lost sleep on weekends: It is very common for people to sleep less during the week, often because they are working late. Many people try to compensate for short sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends. While catching up on lost sleep is a good thing. Doing it regularly is counter-productive. The human body is sensitive to conditioning. If it gets used to minimal sleep during the week, then an overdose of rest during the weekend can send the circadian rhythm into disarray.
Work before bed: People need sufficient opportunity to unwind before bed, or they risk lying awake while their brains attempt to work through their challenges. Taking at least an hour to relax before bed helps people fall asleep more quickly. The time is best spent doing a relaxing activity, such as playing a musical instrument, talking to a loved one, taking a warm bath, or reading for pleasure.
Technology before bed: The majority of people watch TV or use other technologies within an hour before bed. There are several reasons to be wary of technology, including mental stimulation and disruption of circadian rhythms by emitted light. Sleep experts recommend that the bed should be reserved for sleep and sex alone. This helps the mind automatically associate the bedroom with sleep rather than other unrelated activities.
Bedtime procrastination : Procrastination is voluntarily delaying something despite known negative consequences. Researchers have found that procrastination also applies to bedtime. It appears that people are procrastinating before bed not because they want to delay sleeping, but because they don’t want to stop doing whatever else they are doing. Getting to bed on time means fighting the temptation to read one more chapter of that exciting book or watching another episode of your favorite series.
Substances: Alcohol, caffeine, and sleeping pills can all disrupt natural sleep. Even eating too close to bedtime can be disruptive.
Eliminating poor sleep habits will drastically improve the quality of sleep and lead to a more energized and alert state during the day.