You work out at night
iStock/tucko019 Physical activity can help you sleep better at night—if you time it right. Even though exercise generally helps promotes deep sleep, hitting the gym right before hitting the hay can keep you awake. “Vigorous exercise before bedtime can be counterproductive because those endorphins can remain in the system,” says Dr. Kline. If possible, try working out in the morning or afternoon. If your schedule only allows for an evening exercise routine, though, it’s better to work out later than not at all, says Dr. Winter. Learn more ways to start a “clean sleeping” routine.
You get a coffee with your afternoon snack
iStock/creacart You’d never chug a cup of coffee before bed, but caffeine—including from tea and soda—stays in your system for longer than you’d think. Even drinking it within four hours of bedtime could keep you awake at night, says Dr. Winter. A cup of coffee with dessert might not bother everyone, but some people’s bodies metabolize the caffeine more slowly, he says. ”One study says some people feel the effects way beyond four hours,” says Dr. Winter. Cut the caffeine off after lunchtime to be safe, he recommends.
You enjoy a nightcap after dinner
iStock/svetikd Sure, that glass of red wine will knock you out fast, but that sleep won’t be good quality. “There’s a difference between sedation and sleep,” says Dr. Winter. Alcohol suppresses deep REM sleep, the dreaming period when your body restores itself. As the alcohol leaves your system, dreams come rushing in, making your sleep feel fragmented, he says. If you’re worried that alcohol could be cutting into your sleep quality, avoid drinking within five hours of bedtime, recommends Dr. Kline. Watch out for these other bad insomnia habits that keep you up, too.