Habits Keeping You Awake (Uh-oh - I do some of these!)

by Melissa Brunner

We all have a nights now and then where we're a bit short on shut-eye, but I was interested in a Marie Claire Magazine article posted on Yahoo! today about things we do to ourselves that might contribute to the problem. Sadly, I'm guilty of some of them.

Here's the list:

1. Facebooking into the wee hours. Yep - those bright computer screens may stimulate your brain. I've read elsewhere that keeping the TV on can have the same effect.

2. Counting sheep. The article cites sleep experts who say, if you can't fall asleep, the best thing to do is get out of bed for a while. They say doing a task that requires marginal brainpower will lull you into a sleepy mood.

3. Bringing books to bed. Yikes! I do this all the time! I even read books on my iPad, which is probably even worse if you look back to number one! I find reading makes me sleepy, but the sleep experts say my brain will make that part of a routine and I won't be able to fall asleep until I've read a few chapters.

4. Exercising late at night. The experts say to avoid workouts within three hours of bedtime. Well, they obviously haven't been to Kansas in July when sometimes you need to wait until the sun goes down to avoid burning up, now have they?!

5. Setting a bright alarm clock. The experts say that glaring light just mocks you. Sure, but I find that if I don't have it, I lie awake trying to figure out what time it might be!

6. Changing bedtimes. Hmmm. I find that as I've gotten older, I'm not as guilty of this one!

7. Skimping on a good bed. The experts say investing in a good mattress is worth it. Sounds like it's time for a shopping spree!


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