8 Nighttime Habits We’re Guilty of Doing (& Why We Need to Break Them)

Jaclyn Sciara
Bad Habits at Night
Photo: ImaxTree.

Look, we’re all guilty of having bad habits, like waiting until we’re out of socks to do laundry and going for that cupcake after dinner. They’re harmless enough, but there are certain bad habits that really effect us in a negative way—and coincidentally enough, a lot of these habits happen at night.

Below, we’ve pulled together eight nighttime habits that aren’t doing you any favors and why it’s time to break them.

MORE: The 9 Beauty Habits You Should Have Mastered by College Graduation

1. Not Removing Makeup

This is the No. 1 rule we beg you to never, ever break.

Throughout the day, all kinds of gunk and grime builds up on top of your face (and the makeup you have on), making it a prime environment for bacteria to fester. Not only that, but your pillow will also get a good hit of all that bacteria.

Take a few minutes to give your face a good clean—or at the very least a swipe with a makeup wipe. You’ll see less breakouts and more evenly toned skin once you break this habit.

2. Pulling Up Your Hair Tight

By doing this, you can cause your hair to have serious breakage, and in more extreme cases, you’ll encourage a receding hairline over time.

Let your hair relax and be free while you sleep. And if you think there’s a lot of breakage happening, invest in some silk pillowcases, so you won’t break hair as you toss and turn in the night.

3. Checking Your Phone

Yes, we all do it: the last scroll before we hit the hay. In order to get to sleep and stay asleep soundly, we need to put the phone and other devices away and off.

Particularly, it’s the blue light from phones and other technology (like TVs) that’s disturbing your sleep as it’s affecting your natural melatonin release, which helps you sleep more soundly. And less sleep means waking up with bags under your eyes, so turn it all off.

But, if you insist on looking at your phone, the least you can do is keep the phone 14 inches from your face and dim the brightness, per the Mayo Clinic.

4. Skimping on Brushing and Flossing Teeth

Not only will this allow for some serious morning breath, but you’ll also allow all of the food (and sugars in them) to sit on your teeth and gums all night long. In short, you’ll likely end up with cavities that could turn into way worse situations. Just brush your teeth.

MORE: The 12 Weirdest Celebrity Beauty Hacks We’ve Ever Heard About

5. Staying Up Too Late

Skimping on how much sleep you get will cause red eyes in the morning, irritability, inflammation and increased stress. All of this can lead to puffiness, uneven skin tone, bags under your eyes, increased appetite throughout the day and more problems that will simply lead you to Google solutions for getting rid of them. Do yourself a favor and slip into bed around the same time every night to avoid staying up too late.

6. Drinking or Eating Sugar Right Before Bed

Aside from the fact that you’ll spike your blood sugar and experience a rough crash shortly after, eating right before bed (anything, really, not just food and drink high in sugar), can make you gain weight, according to a 2017 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Combine this with not brushing your teeth and you’ve got a real situation on your hands.

7. Not Switching Your Pillowcase Often

Between your face and your hair, there are a lot of oils (and, subsequently, bacteria) that can gather up on your pillowcases. If that doesn’t convince you, this will: “Up to a third of the weight of your pillow could be made up of bugs, dead skin and house dust mites and their feces,” according to a 2011 study.

Switch out your pillowcase for a clean one about once a week to minimize the bacteria that your face sleeps on each night.

8. Not Applying Hand/Cuticle Cream

Considering your hands are constantly busy during the day, the nighttime is the best time to slather on hand cream and cuticle cream so that it can sit and really soak in while you sleep. You’ll be waking up with moisturized fingers in no time!

A version of this article was originally published in May 2015.