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December 04, 2015 3 min read

Are you someone who constantly feels tired? For some people, no matter how early they get to bed at night, they will wake up feeling ready to do little more than go back to sleep. If this sounds like you, don't panic, you aren't turning into some sleep deprived shell of a person. In all likelihood, your sleep patterns are just a little screwed up. Here are 8 things you may be doing that are preventing you from getting the best sleep possible.

1. You’re eating spicy, rich or heavy meals late at night.

It is important that your body has a chance to shutdown before bed. If you eat a big meal within 3 hours of bedtime, your body will be engaged in the process of digestion and not prepping for sleep. To help you fall asleep, Dr. Shelby Harris,  director of behavioral sleep medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, suggests  mixing whole grain carbs with some protein. "[Eat] an apple with some peanut butter or crackers with some cheese. Stay away from anything with caffeine at night, such as chocolate," she says.

2. You live-tweet from your bed.

Most of us cannot shut our minds down early enough to get a good sleep. Instead of watching tv to relax, Harris suggests you find something else to do. "Experiment to find what works for you to wind down. For some, it’s reading. For others, it’s doing mindfulness meditation. Could be muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises or even art," she says. "See what works for you and keep doing it during that hour long power down time before bed." INPOST-sleep

3. You try your best to catch up on sleep.

Sleeping in on the weekends may sound like a great idea but it takes more than one day to catch up on sleep. "Most people consistently don’t get enough sleep on a nightly basis, leading to a five to 10-plus hour debt come the weekend," Harris explains. "Make getting more sleep daily a good goal. Keeping the same bed and wake times every single day is ideal."

4. You sleep with your pet.

Your fur baby does more than hog they bed. While you might not be aware of it, they can be disturbing your sleep cycle. Harris says, "They move and make noises and it can cause awakenings even if you don’t know it was the pet at the time. Plus, they can have allergens in their fur that will get on your bedding." INPOST-sleeping [bctt tweet="8 Things You Are Doing Everyday That Are Ruining Your Sleep"]

5. You hit snooze on your alarm clock.

While you may really, really, really want those extra minutes, the extra time can actually mess up your cycle. Waking multiple times in the morning can interrupt your circadian rhythm, which acts as an internal clock that determines how your body responds for the next 24 hours. Harris says, "a great sleeper should have a properly set circadian rhythm and naturally awaken at around the same time every day."

6. You sleep with your phone under your pillow or your TV on.

LED lights found on phones, tablets, computer and television screens blocks sleep-inducing neurons which leads to sleep deficiencies. Harris suggests you leave your electronics outside of your room. As for falling asleep in front of the television, that's also a no-no. Harris says, "we can sense the blue light from the TV through our eyelids. This can make it harder to fall or stay asleep. Plus, the volume can go up and down at times and make your sleep light."

7. You have a glass of red wine before bed.

That wine is messing up your sleep more than it is helping your heart. If you want a good sleep, Harris says you should avoid alcohol all together. She says, "alcohol may make you drowsy, but it can cause sleep to be broken, light and un-refreshing."

8. You’re too reliant on sleeping pills.

There are lots of sleep disorders out there that require medication but it is best to try behavioural remedies first. Harris says, "it is ideal to not take sleeping pills for over two to four weeks. Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of remaining on sleep aids for long term or how to stop them if you so desire." Are you guilty of any of these sleep stealing habits? Source: Elite Daily

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