One of the most common reasons that people don’t sleep well at night is because of what they do in the hours leading up to bedtime. Many of the problems related to poor sleep are due to this modern age that we live in. Our ancestors didn’t have the same difficulties sleeping as we did, even though they might have been bedding down in a cave! They would sleep when the sun went down and rise with it in the morning.
While you probably wouldn’t want to return to living a primitive lifestyle (after all, right now, you can read thorough Serta perfect sleeper reviews and sleep like royalty), there are habits you can put in place that will help you get a better night’s sleep. Read on to find out the 10 things you should avoid before going to bed.
1. Using electronics
Even though it is more convenient to use laptops and tablet computers than books, some studies show that those who use electronic devices late at night have trouble sleeping well. This is because these devices emit a blue light that affects melatonin production, a hormone that regulates sleep patterns.
2. Drinking caffeine
While we all know that caffeine can help us feel more alert for a short time, there is evidence that it can disrupt the body’s natural sleep cycle. As a result, it is best to avoid drinking caffeinated drinks at least two hours before bed. This will help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you overeat before going to bed you are setting yourself up for digestive issues, which can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you have digestion issues, try to eat earlier in the evening or at least an hour before going to bed. It might help your digestive system to work through your food properly before you go to bed.
Many employees go home, check their email, and spend a lot of time communicating with their colleagues via text or email after work hours. Then they wonder why they can’t fall asleep at night. If you have a phone that can send and receive emails and text messages after hours, switch it off before bedtime or place it away from your bed to prevent you from checking it in the middle of the night.
5. Watching television
If you are watching television while trying to fall asleep, you will find it hard to drift off into a restful slumber. The light from the television is enough to stop you from getting drowsy and it can affect the quality of your sleep. Try switching your TV off at least two hours before going to bed. It will allow your body time to get sleepy before bedtime.
Most people have many thoughts when they lie in bed but it is better to clear your mind before falling asleep. If you’re afraid you will forget all of your genius ideas why not try writing them down in a notebook. You can leave it on your bedside table to work on it the following day when your brain is rested and alert enough to focus on solutions. Working on problems at night will only keep your mind active and prevent you from falling asleep quickly.
7. Taking naps
People who take naps during the day often find it difficult to fall asleep at night. While taking a short nap after lunch can help you stay energised during the afternoon and keep you alert for night time tasks like driving or studying, it can disrupt your sleep during the night. A nap during the day will only make it harder for you to fall asleep at night; it will also make your night time sleep shorter.
8. Leaving the bedroom
It is essential to go to bed and stay in bed until you wake up. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, try to do so without turning on any lights. Leaving the bedroom during the night will prevent you from getting the best night’s sleep possible.
Smokers who are having trouble sleeping might want to quit smoking at night to see if it makes a difference to their sleep cycle. The nicotine in cigarettes causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, which prevents you from falling asleep. It can also be a factor in causing night time urination.
10. Sitting in bed
If you can’t fall asleep right away, it is best to get out of bed and do something else until you feel tired enough to go back to bed. If you stay in bed thinking about why you can’t get to sleep, you are only stimulating your mind further and making it harder to fall asleep. When you can’t sleep, get out of bed and read a book or watch television, but don’t lie there awake worrying that you won’t be able to fall asleep.
The Bottom line
While people are still spending most of their time at home and in the bedroom, it is crucial for your well-being to maintain a good sleep routine. While abandoning naps and late-night TV shows will take time to get used to, making sure that you get enough quality sleep is worth it. If you live with someone, like a spouse or your family you can try asking them to participate in the change you’re trying to implement in your life. It is usually easier to stick to changes when you have someone who is willing to work with you and support you. You might find it hard to make these changes all at once, so try to bring them into your routine slowly and one change at a time. This way the changes won’t feel so drastic and you will be more likely to stick to them. Hopefully, after making these changes you will finally get the good night’s sleep you need.