7 Little Habits You Didn't Realize Can Sabotage Your Sleep

Ad failed to load

If you're having trouble falling asleep or sleeping soundly throughout the night, it may be due to certain before-bed habits that could be messing with your rest. Unfortunately, certain causes of sleep deprivation could leave you feeling weary and low in energy come morning. And, it's really a matter of what you're doing during the daytime that can carry over into night. Good news: with a few tweaks, it's easy to get that rest your body needs.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on falling asleep naturally, in order to repair muscles and restore body tissues that have been lost from the day's activities. However, if you're missing those valuable minutes of snoozing, it can certainly negatively affect your health, wellbeing, and productivity at work the following the day. And, if it becomes a pattern it can lead to trouble focusing, difficulties remembering things, and a weakened immune system. The long-term side effects of sleep deprivation may even extend to your brain and your gut. Of course finding ways to naturally induce sleepiness is helpful, but it's also a matter of what you're doing in the hours earlier that might be preventing you from powering down at night. Here are seven little habits that could be compromising your sleep, according to experts.

Ad failed to load

1Sleeping In On Weekends

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Having a set sleep schedule is super important, so if you're sleeping in on the weekends, it might make you less able to fall asleep at a normal hour during the week. Sleep expert Dr. Lee Chiong tells Bustle that when you sleep longer than normal, you disturb your normal circadian rhythm, which can leave you feeling groggy. It's OK to sleep an extra hour or so, but don't let it go longer than that.

2Eating Dinner Too Late

dglimages/Fotolia

If you're eating a huge, heavy meal too close to bedtime, it could make it more difficult to stay asleep. Going to bed full without having enough time to digest can lead to discomfort and stomach problems, which can keep you awake. A 2005 study by The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that eating dinner within 3 hours of going to bed resulted in symptoms of acid reflux. Instead, eat a smaller meal or snack when it gets too late.

3Using Technology Too Late

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Try not to be scrolling through your phone too close to bed. "Using a smartphone, computer or tablet after 9 p.m. can mess with your sleep schedule," Dr. Robert Glatter, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health and attending emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, tells Bustle. "Engaging in stressful activities related to work such as checking email can elevate stress levels, and reduce your ability to sleep soundly. In addition, the light from your phone or tablet may reduce the production of melatonin, a key hormone that's integral in promoting sleep," Glatter says.

Ad failed to load

4Drinking Excess Caffeine

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

Steer clear of that espresso before bed. "Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drinking excess water too close to bedtime," says Glatter. "These may all reduce your quality of 'good' sleep." And, if you're prone to a caffeine sensitivity in particular, you may want to cut off sooner. Maybe even in the afternoon.

5Taking Certain Medications

sebra/Fotolia

Certain medications could be affecting your quality of sleep, too. "Taking allergy medicine that contains pseudoephedrine at bedtime can prevent you from sleeping," says Glatter. "It may elevate your blood pressure, and prevent you from entering the normal phases of sleep efficiently." Before taking anything, always speak to a doctor first, especially if it's impacting your sleep.

6Long Streaming Sessions

bernardbodo/Fotolia

"[Spending hours streaming] shows during the week can mess with your sleep," says Glatter. When you're too stimulated from media, it's hard to power down. And, you'll likely want to keep watching. "If possible try to reserve this for weekends," says Glatter and stick to one or two shows in the week a night.

Ad failed to load

7Not Getting Into Bed Soon Enough

stokkete/Fotolia

Glatter terms this as "engaging in 'sleep procrastination,'" where you're waiting too long to hit the hay. A fix? "Set a clear time for sleep," says Glatter. "Don’t let emails, texts, and other web related activities disrupt your sleep plans. Sleep is the way your brain recharges itself." So give yourself some time to wind down before bed. Your body will thank you for it.

If you find you're losing your precious hours of sleep, you'll want to make some changes to your routine, even starting hours ahead of when you'll actually get underneath those sheets. When you're more awake and focused, you'll be happy you did.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The 5 Rom-Coms You Need To Read This Summer, According To Someone Who Writes Them

'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want t…
By Cristina Arreola

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

9 Ways This Royal Wedding Was Way More Modern Than Past Ones

The newly named Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, made history with their storybook courtship and wedding. What's more, there are myriad ways the royal wedding 2018 was more modern than previous royal weddings. From deciding…
By Brandi Neal

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan
)}