You love being productive at night
iStock/South_agency Finish stressful activities as early as you can. If you keep until bedtime, your mind will still be racing when you’re trying to sleep. When a bit of late-night work is necessary, take time to wind down before crawling into bed, says Neil Kline, DO, board-certified internist, sleep disorder physician, and representative of American Sleep Association. “Instead of doing bills before bedtime or rehashing the day’s events, have a soothing ritual,” he says. Try taking a hot shower, meditating, or listening to relaxing music, suggests Dr. Kline. Find out if work is burning you out.
You catch up on sleep during the weekend
iStock/Geber86 Without enough shuteye, you start building up a “sleep debt” during the week, says W. Christopher Winter, MD, president of the Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Clinic and author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It. Sleeping in on the weekend can make up for some of that lost sleep, but too much could mess up your body’s sleep cycle. If you stay in bed until noon on Sunday, you’ll be tossing and turning when you crawl in bed that night. “You don’t have to make it all back in one big gulp,” says Dr. Winter. “Keep an eye out for how you’re going to sleep the next night.” There’s nothing wrong with snoozing a couple of extra hours on the weekend, but set an alarm to make sure you don’t overdo it with sleeping, he says.
You check Facebook right before bed
iStock/HStocks Your body has a circadian rhythm that determines when to sleep and wake up. The cycle naturally lasts about 24 hours, and the brain uses light to figure out whether you should be awake. “Bright light is used as a very powerful time cue to influence the brain into believing it’s a certain time of day,” says Dr. Kline. Low light after sundown signals the body to produce sleep-inducing melatonin. But your brain doesn’t know the difference between sunlight and light from your phone, TV, and even lamps, so you might stay wired if you use that technology close to bedtime, says Dr. Kline. Experts recommend turning electronics off two hours before bed, but if that’s not realistic, try cutting down where you can, says Dr. Winter. For instance, watch TV in a dark living room rather than streaming Netflix from your laptop in bed, he suggests. You could also wear sunglasses that block out blue light.