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Sleeping well keeps you healthy, but it's just not something that we've been taught to work for. Sleep is often taken for granted. In fact, it becomes a topic of conversation only when problems come up. Most of us become interested in improving our sleep when we get a touch of insomnia, bad dreams, or just non-relaxing sleep. Getting better sleep can be as easy as kicking some bad habits that we've gotten over the years. This way, we can actively prevent sleep issues and improve our health. Here are the 5 bad sleep habits worth breaking:

1. Don't Fall Asleep in Front of the TV (Yes, this includes Netflix)

But Do Read a Book Instead

Falling asleep while watching a show or a movie feels so natural to us. Some of us often fall asleep on the couch in front of the TV, while others have already gotten used to waking up next to their laptops in bed. It might seem like an easy way to fall asleep because it keeps your mind busy, but it is not healthy. The blue light from the TV or laptop is not healthy for you because it suppresses melatonin production. This is also called the sleeping hormone and it is essential for a good night’s rest.

Instead, you could try reading a book before turning in. This will help keep your mind busy but without the blue light affecting your sleep.

2. Don't Sleep on Synthetic Linen

But Do Sleep on Hypoallergenic Linen

What we sleep on has a huge effect on the quality of our sleep. Synthetic linen is not breathable and you soon start feeling overheated. Some synthetic fibers even carry toxic substances and can cause dermatological and respiratory issues, as well as allergies. Improving your sleep and your overall health with it can be as easy as changing your linen. A silk pillowcase is good for you because it is a hypoallergenic material, which prevents allergies. It is also breathable, so your skin is protected, and comfortable, which is an improvement you feel from the very first night.

3. Don't Eat Before Going to Sleep

But Do Drink a Cup of Calming Tea

We all have busy schedules that make us postpone dinner up to the late hours of the evening. More often than not, we find ourselves eating at midnight and then falling asleep in the following minutes, usually watching TV. If this sounds familiar to you, then you are surely no stranger to waking up feeling tired, full, and with a lingering headache. This can all be prevented by making an effort to have dinner earlier, at least two hours before going to sleep. Instead of having dinner right before going to bed, it's much better to have a warm cup of calming tea, which actually helps you fall asleep. You'll wake up feeling energized and with an appetite for breakfast. 

4. Don't Exercise Before Bedtime

But Do Stretch

Exercising is healthy, whenever and however you do it. Well, that is almost true. When you exercise in the evening, you also get a boost of energy that will keep you up. That means that you might be up way past your bedtime. You should avoid heavy exercise, but you can replace it with 5-10 minutes of stretching. This will leave you feeling relaxed, it will take away the pain in your back, which you've gathered throughout the day, and you will actually feel more comfortable in your bed.

5. Don't Forget to Get Your Bedroom Ready

But Do Ventilate the Room Before Turning in

The environment in your bedroom also has a huge effect on the quality of your sleep. If you go to bed in a room that hasn't been ventilated recently, then the oxygen levels are low to start with. During the night, the levels drop even further. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, by morning, you will have a low oxygen level in the room. This will have you waking up with a headache because your brain is actually oxygen-deprived. Instead, you could ventilate your bedroom right before going to sleep and you'll have a high oxygen level to start from. If possible, leave your window open during the night and you will sleep much better and wake up feeling well-rested.

As you can see, a lot of what we do right before going to bed has a huge effect on the quality of our sleep. Improving it can be as easy as kicking some bad habits and replacing them with healthy ones that actually promote good, relaxing sleep.

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