Strange sleep disruptors
If you are someone who struggles to fall asleep easily at night, there may be a simple solution to beating your insomnia. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning for hours each evening, trying to work out how long you’ve been trying to sleep for – or realising there’s only a few hours until morning. While caffeine, stress and overeating have all been blamed for disrupting dozing in the past, other more unusual reasons could be to blame.
First up, think about your usual bedtime routine. Do you spend ages in the bathroom each evening removing your make-up and brushing your teeth? If so, you may need to make some changes as Russell Foster, a professor of Circadian Neuroscience, believes bright bathroom lights could be waking up our bodies just before we try to get some rest.
“This is very disrupting,” he told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “I often think someone should invent a bathroom mirror light which has a different setting for night-time.”
The scientist from Oxford has suggested brushing your teeth in the dark could prove a sleep saviour.
Using your usual minty toothpaste could also be affecting your rest time. Peppermint is an invigorating scent and one UK study found people who sniffed the scent felt far less drowsy than those who hadn’t. It might be worth hunting down a more subtle toothpaste, rather than ditch brushing altogether.
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden claim the full moon can also wreak havoc on your slumber. It seems that people have an average of 20 minutes less sleep during this lunar cycle, with our circadian clock apparently to blame for the disruption.
We all know that electronic devices such as TVs, phones and tablets can ruin your ability to doze off, but what about the type of show you are watching? Fast-paced dramas may leave your mind racing and people find themselves thinking about plotlines rather than dropping off at night. Experts recommend unwinding with a light-hearted sitcom or comedy film before you go to bed.