Getting a good night’s rest is more than just going to bed at an appropriate time. It’s also about arranging your evening so that it’s not stressful or stimulating in a way that can make it hard to fall and stay asleep. We know It’s easier said than done.
To help you out I have put together 7 common habits that can ruin your night rest and what you can do instead.
Don’t use any kind of digital technology: A growing body of research suggests that staring at the blue and white light emitted from digital screens prevents your brain from releasing the hormone melatonin, which lets your body know when it’s time to hit the hay. So it becomes harder to fall and stay asleep.
Don’t take sleeping pills (unless you’ve been diagnosed with insomnia): The medications typically come with a host of side effects, from muscle aches to memory loss. Plus, Fuller said, they can be highly addictive, and your sleeping problems may become worse after you take the pill.
Don’t drink alcohol: As anyone who’s nodded off after a few glasses of wine is well aware, alcohol often helps you fall asleep. But research suggests that it can make it harder to stay asleep . As your body starts to metabolize the alcohol during the second half of the night, you may start to get restless.
Don’t work in bed (or anywhere in the bedroom): Experts advise reserving the bedroom for sleep and s*x exclusively. Otherwise, you won’t associate the bedroom with rest and might have a harder time falling asleep.
Don’t consume caffeine after 5 p.m: One study found that consuming 400 milligrams of caffeine even six hours before bedtime disrupted sleep. Specifically, those who consumed a caffeine pill six hours before bed slept about an hour less than they slept when they didn’t consume caffeine. The researchers suggest that people limit their caffeine consumption to before 5 p.m., at the latest.
Don’t eat fatty foods: Research suggests that eating within the hour before bedtime can hurt both sleep quality and quantity, especially for women. In particular, eating meals high in fat before bed seems to decrease the time people spend in sleep. If you’re hungry late at night, experts recommend eating whole grains paired with protein, like natural peanut butter on whole-wheat bread.
Don’t exercise: When you’ve got a packed schedule, it might seem like the only time available to work out is when the rest of the world is sleeping but experts recommend avoiding strenuous workouts in the evening. That’s partly because your body temperature rises during cardio workouts, which could make it harder to go to sleep.