It’s important to wind down before bed and establish a routine that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. That means avoiding caffeine late in the day, disconnecting from electronics screens, and avoiding intense exercise close to bedtime.
You should also avoid eating large meals before bed, as this can lead to indigestion and disrupt sleep. And finally, try to relax and clear your mind before going to bed so you can drift off to sleep more easily.
Don’t use any kind of digital technology
We’ve all heard it before: the blue light from screens can disrupt our sleep patterns. But that’s not the only reason why you should avoid using digital technology before bed.
For one thing, staring at a screen right before you go to sleep can actually make it harder to fall asleep. That’s because the bright light from the screen stimulates your brain and makes it harder to wind down.
But even if you’re not looking at a screen, using digital technology before bed can still be disruptive. That’s because most of us are so used to being connected that we find it hard to disconnect when we need to sleep. We might check our phones one last time before bed, or keep them nearby in case we get a late-night text or email. But this constant connection can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep.
So what should you do instead? Try reading a book or magazine, listening to soothing music, or taking a relaxing bath before bedtime. And of course, turn off all your electronic devices at least an hour before you want to go to sleep!
Don’t take sleeping pills (unless you’ve been diagnosed with insomnia)
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia, you may be considering taking a sleeping pill to help you get some much-needed rest. However, before you pop a pill, it’s important to understand both the risks and benefits of using these medications.
Sleeping pills are generally classified as either sedatives or hypnotics. Sedatives work by relaxing the body and mind, while hypnotics help to induce sleep. Some common sleeping pills include Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Rozerem (ramelteon).
There are potential risks associated with taking any kind of medication, including sleeping pills. Side effects can range from mild (such as drowsiness or dizziness) to more serious (such as confusion or memory problems). In some cases, people have reported experiencing sleepwalking or strange behaviors while under the influence of sleeping pills. There is also the risk of becoming dependent on these medications if they are used frequently.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are a number of non-medication treatments that may be effective for you such as cognitive behavioral therapy or making changes to your sleep habits. Talk to your doctor about what treatment options might be best for you before deciding if a sleeping pill is right for you.
Don’t drink alcohol
It’s no secret that alcohol can help you fall asleep. But, it’s also a major contributor to light and fragmented sleep, which means you’re not likely to feel rested in the morning. Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows down your nervous system. That can make it harder to stay asleep throughout the night.
It can be tempting to pour yourself a glass of wine or have a cocktail before bedtime, but resist the urge! You’ll sleep better without alcohol in your system.
Don’t work in bed (or anywhere in the bedroom)
It’s tempting to want to use the bedroom as a home office, especially when you live in a small space. But working in bed is a recipe for poor sleep and back pain.
The bedroom should be a place where you can relax and unwind, not a place where you’re stressed out about deadlines or projects. If you’re finding it difficult to disconnect from work at the end of the day, try setting up a dedicated workspace in another room.
And even if you don’t have an actual desk, make sure you’re not working on your laptop in bed. The position is terrible for your posture and can lead to neck and shoulder pain. If you must work in bed, use a pillow to prop up your laptop so that you’re not hunched over it.
Don’t consume caffeine after 5 p.m
It’s well-known that caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming it late in the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night. Caffeine stays in your system for several hours, so if you’re trying to sleep eight hours after having a coffee, chances are you won’t be getting a full night’s rest. If you’re struggling to sleep, avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda starting at least five hours before bedtime.
Don’t eat fatty foods
Your body needs time to digest fatty foods, and if you eat them before bed, you’re more likely to have indigestion or heartburn. Fatty foods can also worsen sleep apnea. So if you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep, avoid eating anything greasy or fried before bed.
You might think that a light workout before bed will help you sleep better, but it can actually have the opposite effect. Exercise stimulates your body and can make it harder to fall asleep.
Don’t eat a big meal: Eating a large meal before bed can cause indigestion and make it difficult to sleep. If you’re going to eat something, make sure it’s light and easy to digest.
Don’t drink caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake at night. Avoid coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks in the evening.
Don’t drink alcohol: Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it can actually disrupt your sleep later in the night. It’s best to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages before bedtime.
Don’t smoke: Smoking is another stimulant that can keep you awake at night. If you smoke cigarettes, try to quit or at least avoid smoking in the evening hours.