Take the Night Back: Five Sleep Stealers and What to Do About Them

Having trouble sleeping from time to time is normal. But if you’re tossing and turning night after night, you might want to keep an eye on these sleep stealers.

Sleep Stealer #1: Tech, Specifically Your Phone

Probably everyone’s guilty of this. While in bed, you mindlessly scroll your social media feeds, check your email, watch cute cat videos, or dive into some conspiracy theory online. Before you know it, a good hour slipped by. Now you can’t sleep after staring at your phone for too long.

Of course, science has something to say about this. It turns out that the artificial blue light from your phone delays your body’s natural rhythm. With suppressed melatonin and late circadian rhythm, your senses are more alert. Even if you indeed manage to fall asleep, you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. The result? Restlessness the next day.

The solution for this is simple but far from easy. Yes, you have to keep your hands off your phone before bed. Ideally, you should stay away from screens, TVs and computers included, two hours before bedtime. Instead, do activities that induce relaxation such as petting your dog or reading a novel.

Sleep Stealer #2: Your Afternoon Nap

A power nap can help you curb the 3 PM slump and stay productive for the rest of the day. But make sure to do it not too late in the day, as it can disrupt your biological clock and keep you up at night.

It’s normal to feel sleepy toward the afternoon. Recharge if you must, but keep your siesta shorter than 30 minutes. After all, as with your nightly zzzs, power naps are about quality and not quantity.

Sleep Stealer #3: Unwelcome Visitors aka Bedbugs

bed bug

Restless nights aren’t always caused by your habits. Sometimes, your skin-crawling sleeping partner is to blame. Just to be clear, we’re talking about bedbugs here.

These nocturnal pests are making a comeback in American homes after a period of hibernation. Like a recurring bad dream, they are here to steal your much-needed nighttime rest. On top of making you toss and turn through itchy bites, they bring a range of diseases with them. Think of asthma, hives, and allergies.

There’s no cool way to say this: it’s either you get rid of these enemies or they get rid of you. Don’t give them a chance and call a pest control company in Irvine right away. If you wait for too long, the infestation will get bigger and spread throughout your home.

Sleep Stealer #4: Coffee, Alcohol, and Smoke

We can’t blame you if you want to enjoy the nice things life has to offer. Just keep in mind that caffeine, nicotine, and alcoholic beverages are stimulants; they might give you sleep problems later at night. If you feel the need for a cup of coffee or a stick of tobacco, have it 10 to 12 hours before sleep to give your body the chance to wind down.

Sleep Stealer #5: Too Much Water

Waking up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip is one sure way to disrupt your sleep. So, before bedtime, refrain from too much liquid intake. There’s also a chance that someone who experiences frequent urination at night has a medical condition called nocturia.

If you suspect that this is the reason for your bathroom trips, consult your doctor. They might recommend you to undergo therapy and keep a diary of times you drink water and urinate throughout the day.

Whether it’s your habits or bedbugs that steal your sleep, the good news is that you can still get a good night’s rest. All you have to do is to identify and put the culprit to sleep.

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