6 Sleep Pitfalls to Avoid

The bottom line is that you are going to spend about 1/3 of your life in bed.  So it’s important to get it right.  Here are a few sleep pitfalls that you are going to want to avoid if you want to get the most out of your sleep.

1. Stomach Sleeping: When you lay on your stomach and sleep, you are forced to turn your head severely to one side or the other.  Can you imagine how horrible you would feel if you sat at a computer like that all day?  Stomach sleeping is a major contributor to chronic neck pain and muscle tightness.  So if you are doing it.  STOP!

2. Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in your system for  up to 12 hours.  If you want to get your best nights sleep, you should stop drinking caffeine a minimum of 4-6 hours before before you sleep.

3. Exercise: As much as I’m an advocate of exercise, you shouldn’t do it before you go to sleep.  Exercise stimulates the body and will make it very difficult to slow down and sleep well.

4. Too Many Pillows: What’s with all the pillows?  Some people act like it’s a competition to see who can sleep with the most pillows.  The problem with too many pillows is bad posture position it puts you in. Too many pillows for a side sleeper laterally flexes the head and can cause neck pain and muscle tightness.  Too many pillows for a back sleeper will push the head forward and contribute to forward head posture and ultimately the dreaded “hunch.” NO ONE wants the hunch.

5. No Down Time: If a car goes from 60 to Zero without a buffer zone, it’s called a CRASH. Maybe that’s why we say our kids “Crash” when they go go go until they fall asleep upside down in some random spot.  Well, adults can CRASH too.  Actually they do all the time.  We live in a world that is always on the go.  It’s important to take several minutes to unwind before bed.  It’s a great time to read a book, pray, meditate, do affirmations or something else that helps you step away from the day and clear your mind before heading to bed.

6. Irregular Bed Times: Your body likes consistency.  Going to bed around the same time every night and getting up in the morning around the same time every day will go a long way to improving the quality of your sleep. When it comes to your sleep…Be a creature of habit.