Every time we hear the video or voice clip of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman cry out his legendary ‘Merdeka, merdeka, MERDEKA’ , we just can’t help but feel the chill of patriotism running down our spines. This Independence Day, it’s time for us too to “merdeka” ourselves from the one thing that keeps us tired and moody all day - the dreaded bad night’s sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for our overall health and how we feel throughout the day. We all know what will happen if we miss out on even a single night of our much-needed sleep time. For one thing, getting up in the morning after a bad sleep is downright torture, not to mention the feeling of sluggishness and grouchiness that you can’t seem to shake off even after that third cup of black coffee.
So how do you banish bad sleep from your life forever and ever? First things first, let's take a look at your nighttime habits. You may not realise it, but the cause for your tossing, sleepless nights might stem from bad nighttime habits such as these:
1. You eat pretty much right before you sleep
Spicy foods aren’t the only culprit behind a bad sleep; eating too close to your bedtime can also lead to uncomfortable sleep that will leave you feeling tired and grumpy in the morning. Have your last meal at least 3 - 4 hours before your bedtime to avoid that ‘too full’ feeling. If you’ve had your dinner earlier but feel hungry or snacky before your bedtime, have some sleep-friendly snacks such as these instead.
2. You smoke and drink caffeinated drinks at night
If you need another incentive to quit smoking, here’s a good one; nicotine messes up with your sleep cycle, making it harder for you to get your much needed deep sleep. You should be careful with your caffeine intake at night too, as caffeine can wreak havoc if consumed within 3 hours before your bedtime.
Remember that caffeine is not just limited to drinks such as coffee and tea, but also carbonated drinks, chocolates, cereals, and even certain medications. When in doubt, check the ingredients list of turn to our smartest friend - the Internet.
3. You enjoy nightcaps
Ah, the good old nightcap. Its very name is misleading, as even the smallest amount of alcohol taken before bedtime has the potential to disrupt our sleep and throw our REM sleep off balance. While most people find that alcohol helps them get drowsy and fall asleep faster, it actually lowers your sleep quality as your body metabolises it and converts it into energy.
4. You use your phone or computer right before bedtime
We know, we know, it’s super hard to not scroll through your social media or watch one more episode of Game of Thrones before bed. But consider this, not only will it be harder for you to fall asleep after all the excitement from the TV show or that controversial picture your friend just posted on their Instagram, the blue light emitted by your electronic devices is known to suppress the sleep hormone melatonin - making it harder for you to achieve REM sleep.
5. You sleep with your phone
Sure, you’ve put your phone on silent mode, but it’ll still buzz each time you get that late-night texts or social media notification. When you have your phone too close to you at night, it makes it too easy for your sleep to be disrupted by the late-night notifications - or the impulse to check your phone and scroll through your social media feed one last time. Take our word on this, keep your phone as far away from your bed as possible. You’ll sleep better.
Bonus point: If your phone is also your alarm, it’ll make it easier for you to wake up in the morning as you’ll have to get up from your bed to shut it off. #win.
Quality sleep matters
If you have any of the above bad nighttime habits but you doubt if you can ever stop, remind yourself that you can do anything if you put your mind into it. Good sleep is important, we simply cannot stress that enough. Not just because you can get through your tasks tomorrow without feeling groggy, but because it has a huge impact on your health.
Of course, having a good and comfortable mattress can also help with your journey to better sleep. If you feel it’s time for a change of mattress, try Sonno. Not only does it come with a 100 nights trial period, you can also return it at zero cost and hassle if you decide it’s not for you!