Monday, December 5, 2022

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Practices that are hindering your sleep, by a sleep expert

  • Sleep Expert, Katherine Hall reveals the six biggest falsehoods associated with sleep.
  • With over 13 years’ experience, Katherine explains the science to help achieve a better sleep routine.
  • Three practices that help and three practices that hinder sleep for the masses.

Get Laid Beds has teamed up with Katherine Hall, a sleep expert with over 13 years of clinical experience to bust some of the most common myths around sleep, in order to further their mission of helping everyone get a better night’s sleep.

Practices that Hinder Sleep

Going to bed despite not being tired 

Katherine says: “If you’ve ever laid in bed staring at the ceiling for minutes or even hours trying to fall asleep, you know how frustrating it can be. You close your eyes tightly and will yourself to fall asleep, but without fail, you’re left tossing, turning, and wide awake. The idea that you can force yourself to go to sleep is a common myth that could be hindering your sleep.

“When you lie awake in bed for more than 15 to 20 minutes, your brain starts to associate your bed and bedroom with being awake and alert instead of tired and sleeping. Your bed should be reserved for sleep and sex only. If you’re awake for longer than 20 minutes, get up and perform a relaxing activity with minimal light exposure. Once you feel tired enough to fall asleep, return to your bed. Continue doing this until you’re asleep within the first 20 minutes.”

Using digital devices to relax before bed

Katherine says: “We’re all guilty of watching television, reading on a Kindle or scrolling through our phones before bed as a way to relax and unwind from the day. While it may feel good to forget about your worries and indulge in some mindless entertainment, doing so on a digital device too close to bedtime could be hindering your sleep. 

“These screens emit a blue light that interferes with your sleep patterns and ability to fall asleep. The blue light from electronic devices prevents your brain from releasing the sleep hormone melatonin by tricking your brain into thinking it should be awake and alert. Ditch all digital devices at least 60 minutes before bed and replace these relaxing activities with more productive ones like reading from a book, meditating, or taking a warm bath.”

Sleeping in after staying up late the night before 

Katherine says: “Staying out late with friends, working late, or simply struggling to fall asleep, can cause you to stay up into the wee hours of the morning. In an effort to make up for lost sleep, you might sleep much later than normal the next day. This is especially common on weekends or while on vacation. While it may seem like catching up on much-needed sleep will leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated, you’re actually sabotaging your natural sleep patterns and circadian rhythm.

“Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It regulates when you feel tired and when you feel awake and alert. When you go to bed at different times every night or wake up at different times in the morning, you’re confusing your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. You need to set a consistent sleep schedule that involves going to bed around the same time at night and waking up at the same time each morning – even on the weekends! The belief that sleeping late will help you catch up on lost sleep is a myth. While you may feel better momentarily, in the long run, you’re sabotaging your sleep quality.”

If you’ve recently stopped doing any of the above and you’ve found that your night-time snooze has improved, then Tweet us and let us know at @SuffolkGazettte.

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