You, me, everyone needs a good night’s sleep to be on top of our healthy lifestyle. Getting adequate sleep should be on everyone’s health goals. Why is sleeping important? Sleeping is important because your mood, energy levels, and overall health are dependent on it.
How much sleep you get might also be dependent on what you do during the day. Like how much physical activity you get, what you eat and drink (your diet), and how mentally aware and stimulated you are. All these aspects become even more important in the hours before your ideal sleep time. Therefore, if you can do anything to help you sleep better, you should try.
Here is a list of 8 things you shouldn’t do before bed ideally.
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Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 1 - Using an e-reader or smartphone
You’ve probably heard it by now. Many studies have found that using electronic devices like e-readers iPhones and android phones, or even watching TV before going to bed can cause unhealthy sleep patterns. Many doctors recommend avoiding any light emitting device for at least an hour before you head to sleep.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 2 - Taking certain medications
If you’re on regular medications or supplements and also experiencing sleep problems, you should ask your doctor whether the timing of your dosage is a factor affecting sleep. Some medicines can keep you alert (and as a result, awake) for many hours after taking them as a side effect. For example, some antidepressants can help some people sleep faster, while others not. While, some pain medications can cause an upset stomach as a side effect and thereby, make sleeping more difficult. Other medicines, like some blood pressure pills might help you sleep if taken at night. You might want to consult your doctor in detail about your pills and their effects and see if that can help you sleep better.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 3 - Chatting with friends
How many times has a goodnight text rolled into a long conversation for most of us? You might think a text is less intrusive late at night over a voice call, but just think if you really need to before you message a friend or family member or start a conversation just before bed. One easy hack can be just to sleep with your phone on silent for your sleep period to keep you from being disturbed by replies after you’ve already retired or fallen asleep.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 4 - Drinking Coffee (Even Decaf)
A standard cup of coffee can have between 80-120 mg of caffeine. You should already know you should avoid it right before bed. Many people like having a hot drink after dinner. Although, they may not realize that caffeine can stay in their body for up to 12 hours. Even having coffee during lunch can disturb sleep for some people.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 5 - Eating Chocolate
Chocolate is a little-known source of caffeine too. Mostly dark chocolate or chocolates that have high cocoa contents. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, even a chocolate ice cream can potentially keep you awake.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 6 - Skipping your wind-down time
When people say they can’t shut their mind off in bed, it’s often because they haven’t given themselves adequate time to relax in the hour or so beforehand, says Grandner. Most of us have busy schedules. If you are going home from work, and then going from one distracting activity to another, it’s not going to help you sleep. You should give yourself time to sit back and reflect on your thoughts. Your mind should not be racing when you finally climb into bed. Try not to do anything too stimulating, thought-provoking, or absorbing at least half an hour before bed. Instead, try activities that help you relax.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 7 - Working before bed
We have already talked about the harmful effects of light emitting devices like smartphones and laptops. They can mess with anybody’s natural sleep patterns. If you check your email, reply or do work related too close to bedtime you are likely to remain agitated for a long time. According to a study in 2014, those who use their smartphones for work after 9pm at night, were found to be more tired and lost focus more the next morning.
Top 8 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Bed – Tip 8 - Eating Too Much
Eating a huge meal very close to your bedtime can make falling asleep harder. If you’re bloated or too full it can be difficult to sleep. Try to avoid spicy or fatty foods as they’re associated with acid reflux which is very uncomfortable. Ideally, you should have dinner a minimum of 2 hours before going to sleep. This will give your body enough time to begin digesting it. Some foods, however, promote sleep like simple carbs or a glass of milk. Another important aspect to remember for your healthy lifestyle is that late-night snacking can lead to gain in weight.