You always reach for PM pain pills
iStock/dolgachov It’s no surprise that pain can make it harder to sleep, but address the pain instead of just trying to sleep it off. “It surprises me how many people don’t recognize that,” says Dr. Winter. “They focus on the sleep problem and don’t focus on the pain problem.” Even though they have a sedative effect, some pain pills can actually lead to worse sleep quality, he says. Invest in a new mattress instead. A memory foam or adjustable mattress, for instance, could support your body better and ease your pain.
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.