The surprising sleep stoppers you never would have guessed

OK, so we know all the obvious things that get in the way of a good nights’ sleep.

No caffeine, lavender under our pillow, no laptop or iPhone before bed – great advice, but there’s some other pesky reason we’re still missing out on those Zzzzzzs.

Here are some surprising things that are ruining your sleep:

Decaf coffee
Shocker! Decaf doesn’t always mean caffeine-free. Some products contain up to 10 milligrams of caffeine – enough to keep you awake – so check the label before you sip!

Total silence
Women are hard-wired to be way more sensitive to noises at night, as we’re instinctively on alert for crying babies! So the slightest creak or squeak in utter silence can awaken you from slumber. Some gentle music or a sleep sounds app can help here.

Nightly work outs
High-impact exercise less than three hours before bed could leave you with an energy rush. If you tend to work out late at night, take a bath before bed to lower your body temperature. Add some lavender oil for an even better nights’ sleep.

A too-early bedtime
If eight hours is good, 12 is not better. Even if you’re super tired, messing with your normal sleeping schedule will leave you staring wide-eyed at the ceiling into the small hours. Resist the sleepiness as much as you can and avoid naps.

Scented face washes
Right before bed is the one time you want to calm down all five senses. Scents like peppermint and lemon are more likely to make you feel more awake so stay away from shower gels and face washes with hues of both.

The nightcap
While a nightcap might seem like a good idea if you’re wide awake, alcohol is one of the worst things for good-quality sleep. Try cherry juice instead—it contains melatonin, a sleep hormone.